I think this is heavily dependent on what the student is already interested in. A math enthusiast may happily dive into algorithms & raw command-line stuff, but lots of students find that... dry.
If they're into gardening, figure out how to build an automated watering system. If they like motorcycles (or mountain bikes), strap some Bluetooth accelerometers to your bike and write some code to digest the data and tune the suspension. I'm a mountain biker, and a lot of my favorite code that I've written stems from that.
The more you can make programming just an extension of some other, greater interest, the more fun it'll be to learn.
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