Summer Camp – There Must Be An App for That!
What happens when you put 60+ high school students from North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey, and Tennessee together with Android phones and AppInventor? You get some really creative applications (apps) like: “Interactive Periodic Table” (you tap on an element group and get expanded information), “Don’t Hit State!” (an interactive ball tossing game where hitting the UNC logo gives you two points; hit Duke’s logo and you get one), “Melody Magic” (an app requiring you to mimic musical notes), or “PacMan’s Revenge” (you play as “Blinky” the ghost to avoid PacMan).
The students created these apps during the Computer Science Software Engineering Android Applications Workshops, held in June 2012 as part of the College of Engineering’s Summer Programs.
The Computer Science department hosted two independent resident workshops (the students stay on campus in residence halls) providing the students with an introduction to computer science through a variety of fun and exciting hands-on projects such as the invention of the above-mentioned Android apps using AppInventor. Students worked on their projects, but they were also able to experience NC State, and college life, in a residential setting. They worked on their projects for four days, then on Friday presented their work during a poster session where they could demonstrate their apps to family, friends, faculty and staff.
“The students were very creative and were quick to pick up on the skills needed to create these apps,” says Dr. Sarah Heckman, a three-time graduate of the NC State Computer Science Department (B.S., 2004; M.S., 2005; and Ph.D., 2009), and the leader of this year’s summer workshops. “Some had never done any coding in high school, but it didn’t seem to slow them down! I was impressed at how the teams collaborated and helped each other out, and they seemed to have a really good time doing so!”
Photos of this year’s workshops can be found here.
To learn more about the Computer Science workshops, click here.
For more information on the College of Engineering’s Summer Programs, click here.
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