ACM Teaches Younglings
The Lewis University chapter of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery), a student group consisting of undergraduate students in Computer Science and Masters students in Information Security, held a workshop on Saturday, October 27, to teach grade school children and their parents how to program. This activity was part of a larger event put on by the undergraduate researchers in Lewis' Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, in which two Computer Science students, Elie Shmayel and Brian Wilhelm, conducted research this past summer. Using a visual programming environment called Scratch, kids can work with the same kinds of instructions and make the same kinds of decisions older, professional programs make as they figure out how to write programs that solve problems, simulate systems, tell stories, and entertain. Five groups of children from area grade schools came to the Computer Science labs that afternoon to play with Scratch as well as to control little bird-like robots called Finches using computer programs they wrote. The ACM students who guided the children as they explored the world of software development were Lewis Computer Science majors Rob Granko, Mike Korby, Elie Shmayel, and Brian Wilhelm, and Computer Science alumnus and current Master of Science in Information Security graduate student Brandon Greene. The Computer Science department at Lewis will hold a camp this summer to help kids learn more about computer programming and other exciting areas Computer Scientists explore, so stay tuned.