In 2022, CS@SC was poised to return to in-person camps for the Summer. The pivot to virtual learning in response to the pandemic has been successful and opened new opportunities for teaching coding to kids. The excitement and anticipation of being back on campus for the first time in three years created a feeling of enthusiasm. However, in late April co-Founder, Dr. Jeff Miller announced the bittersweet news of his becoming a Dean of the College of Engineering & Computational Sciences at Southern Utah University, and his co-director, Dr. Nayeon Kim, announced she was returning to the industry as a Senior Software Engineer at the Penske Media Corporation. on campus for the first time in three years created a feeling of enthusiasm. However, in late April co-Founder, Dr. Jeff Miller announced the bittersweet news of his becoming a Dean of the College of Engineering & Computational Sciences at Southern Utah University, and his co-director, Dr. Nayeon Kim, announced she was returning to the industry as a Senior Software Engineer at the Penske Media Corporation.
With the support of co-founder Coach Kemper and continuing staff members Victor Kim and Florencia Lee, CS@SC found a new home in the K-12 STEM Center under the direction of Dr. Darin Gray. Not only was Summer 2022 a success, but the 2022-23 school year and Summer 2023 saw new funding for scholarships, including in memory of the Jim Valentine Scholarships, new partnerships with the Los Angeles Unified School District and Montebello Unified School District, additional partnerships with schools and community organizations, and collaboration with code.org to bring additional coding resources to schools. In addition to the regular offerings of Scratch, Python, Java, web development, Vex robotics, and LEGO robotics, new curricula were added: AI, Arduinos, cybersecurity, game design, mobile app development, and new robot platforms. Over 975 students participated!
Beginning this Fall, CS@SC will expand its outreach to after-school programs and parochial and charter schools. New curricula like drone programming and coding Raspberry Pi’s are being developed. The virtual programs will be expanding as well.
As CS@SC embarks upon its eighth year, it is essential to take stock of our impact:
- Over 11,000 students have participated.
- Several former participants have come to USC as computer science students, and many have served as TAs for the camps.
- Participants continue to share how the program impacts them:
CS@SC has accomplished a lot, but there is still more to do! With the advent of AI in applications such as ChatGPT and facial recognition, representation matters not only in providing opportunities for aspiring computer science professionals of color but also in their everyday lives. Imagine the future when Artificial Intelligence driven algorithms are used by banks to determine creditworthiness, by policymakers to assess return on investment for public resource allocation, or by hiring departments to screen resumes. AI-based facial recognition software is already being used in the criminal justice system. By introducing coding to K-12 students, CS@SC is not only helping to create the next generation of computer scientists, but it is also helping to educate students about the role CS plays in their lives.