|laziness, impatience, and hubris|
Sometimes Perl isn't the right tool.
If your purpose is to enthuse the students with programming, starting them on Perl is a little like trying to excite them to music by having them play scales on a piano. It might be invaluable in the end, if they stick at it, but you'd be better off in the short term by sticking an electric guitar in their hands.
To that end, something like Alice is more likely to grab their attention.
(If you decide to download it, go here, the local download links run at about 15k/s only!)
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.