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NCCU Summer Camps Offer Early Immersion in STEM


North Carolina Central University summer offerings give aspiring computer scientists and technicians early-learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math to bridge the gap in STEM education.

Forty-five students from historically black colleges and universities joined NCCU’s School of Business for the Google Computer Science Summer Institute, where students learned computer science fundamentals under the direction of Google engineers.

Also with the support of faculty from the School of Business, 40 area high school students participated in the Rainbow PUSH Summer Tech Camp hosted by Microsoft in partnership with the Citizenship Education Fund of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and members of the university faculty.

According to a recent Pew Research Center report, STEM-based occupations have grown by 79% since 1990, from 9.7 million jobs to 17.3 million jobs, outpacing overall U.S. job growth. Minority students, especially, require early immersion in STEM subjects to find maximum success in the field.

Google sponsored the three-week residential Computer Science Summer Institute to help kick-start attendees undergraduate studies in computer science and give them opportunities for professional development, including resume building and design thinking.

The immersive technology experience involved interactive, hands-on learning in areas of computer science and software engineering. Students also collaborated to design and develop applications which they showcased in their final presentations to Google employees.

The Kapor Center for Social Impact reports that disparities in access to computer education along with social and psychological obstacles found within computing environments, can discourage minority students from pursuing the field professionally.

During the four-day technical camp sponsored by Microsoft, students explored the software giant’s technical resources and possibilities for expanding the footprint technology within the Durham community. The educational sessions involved writing code for a talking robot, creation of a personal website, video game design, and video creation with virtual reality and 3D.

Each week, students in the technology camp had the opportunity to suggest a technical solution to a social justice problem in the community. The final competition featured the top scoring teams vying for a $250 Microsoft gift card or Xbox.

Published: Friday, August 30, 2019
by Director of Marketing and Communications, Quiana M Shepard [ this function might malfinction on the test server ]
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