July 1, 2012
11-170

Malynda Dorsey
Communications Specialist

Google Grant Promotes Computing Adventures @ VSU & Beyond

VALDOSTA -- Since 2010, Math and Computer Science Professor Krishnendu Roy has been facilitating Computing Adventures @ VSU, a week-long summer camp designed to introduce middle and high school students to computer science. This year Roy will incorporate basic instructional concepts to area teachers during this year’s camp after receiving $12,000 in grant funds from Google.

Computing Adventures includes two week-long camps -- one for middle school students from July 16 to 20 and one for high school students from July 23 to 27. Middle school students will have the opportunity to build and program robots and create small games and animations. High school students will learn how to develop applications for Android mobile phones and work with robots as well.

During the first week of camp, Roy will also host a training workshop for teaching computer science in the classroom for four area teachers. The teachers will explore advancements in technology, animation and robotics. The workshop, titled “Valdosta Computes,” is funded by a grant from Google Inc. as part of its Computer Science for High Schools program, an initiative to promote computational thinking and computer science in school curriculum.

“While computer science continues to grow, the fundamental concepts don’t change,” Roy said. “Through this training, I will show the teachers how to present these concepts to their students.”

Roy hopes that the training will 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. 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.”

Roy hopes to open the training to more teachers in the future.

Through the CS4HS initiative, funds are provided by the Google Education Group to host two to three day workshops for middle school and high school teachers. Google currently offers CS4HS grants to colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, New Zealand and Australia. According to a Google blog about the program, the ultimate goals are to “’train the trainer,’ develop a thriving community of high school CS teachers, and spread the word about the awe and beauty of computing.” The grant was introduced in 2010 with hopes of impacting at least 36,000 students and ensuring they are exposed to the latest computing tools in technology.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected growth of employment in computer science between 2010 and 2020 is faster than average at a rate of 28 percent. The demand for computer science professionals is currently high and expected to grow as companies continue to invest in newer technology and mobile networks.

For more information about Computing Adventures @ VSU, visit http://www.valdosta.edu/computingcamp/index.html . View a video of last year's camp at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WeFrp7MhT8&list=UU0pwg0QVYze1o3KocNtj9pw&index=4&feature=plcp .

What: Computing Adventures @ VSU 2011
Who: Middle school and high school students
When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m., July 16-July 22
Cost: $110-165
Valdosta State University’s Department of Math and Computer Science will host two one-week long computing summer camps to help positively influence students' interest in computer science. Students will receive information that serves as a platform for future exploration in computing.