Valdosta Daily Times

July 26, 2013

Camp encourages students to consider careers in computer science


Valdosta State University

VALDOSTA — Thirteen-year-old Priyanka Gupta sees an opportunity to make her mark in the world through technology and the advancements therein.



“Technology continues to change and it would be cool to be a part of that change,” said Gupta, who will begin eighth grade this fall at Hahira Middle School.



Gupta is one of 18 area middle school students who participated in this year’s Computing Adventures @ VSU computer science camp, hosted by the Department of Math and Computer Science at Valdosta State University. The camp was held July 15-19.



“This was my second year participating,” Gupta said. “I returned to the camp because I learned so much about robots and creating programs on Scratch last year. This year was even better because we got to actually create Android apps for our phones and work with a 3D printer at the library.”



First year camper Oya Denizman enjoyed programming robots to follow preset directions and react to sound as well as creating apps to control robots.



“I had gone to Camp Invention at VSU earlier this summer,” said Denizman, an upcoming sixth graders at Hahira Middle. “When I found out that there would be a computer science camp, it sparked my interest as well. I have learned so much about robots and computers this week and I would love to try some of these activities at home.”



Throughout the week, students created more than 200 apps for phones and configured several Mindstorm robots. The camp included students from schools across the region as well as some home school students.



“This year we had a very diverse group of students who came eager to learn,” said Dr. Krishnendu Roy, assistant professor of computer science. “The week ended with group presentations for the students to showcase their creations to their parents.”



Since 2010. Roy has been facilitating this week-long summer camp designed to increase exposure of computer science to area students and get students interested in the field.



“Computer science is one of the fastest growing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) fields, but many people are not pursuing careers in the field because they are not getting exposure to it in school,” Roy said. “Students are using computers at school, but they are not learning the science behind it. If they don’t know what that is, then we are missing them.”



To learn more about Computing Adventures @ VSU, visit http://ww2.valdosta.edu/computingcamp/activities.html .