Eventually I took pity on her and got things working.
As a result she's interested in the project I've been working on even though its more of a general purpose tool and less biologically related.
After talking to her about her skills and what she might want to accomplish, I think she's willing to write some unit tests for me. I even think that's even a reasonable task for someone who has a couple of programming classes under their belt.
It would involve reading the current code and trying to figure out how it's supposed to work and writing code to make sure that it continues to behave correctly.
Though I'm not sure I like some of the other extreme programming ideas, unit testing does seem like a good idea.