Lewis University Hosts Successful Computer Science Camps

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Lewis University Hosts Successful Computer Science Camps

Published: August 3, 2015.

Dr. Cindy Howard leads a lesson during the
Girls Create with Technology camp.

Two Computer Science camps held by the Lewis University Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences offered middle school and high school students an opportunity to learn more technology this summer. Middle school girls that attended the Girls Create with Technology camp used Python programming to customize Minecraft and control their own robots. The Computer Programming and Security camp gave students in grades 7 through 12 a crash-course in developing computer applications in Python.

Dr. Cindy Howard, associate professor of Computer Science, led the Girls Create with Technology camp funded by Caterpillar. The program is part of a significant effort the department has pursued to increase the number of women in the field. The girls built circuits using LittleBits music and motion sets. They learned how motors and LEDs work. They also used computers to control unmanned aircraft systems as they flew around the Science Building. Their final project was to build a robot out of craft materials. Using a Raspberry Pi, the Python programming language, and Hummingbird Robotics Kits, the girls created animated robots that responded to sound, touch, light, and changes in distance.

Howard was assisted by Dr. Ray Klump, chair of Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and Lewis University Computer Science students Francisco Cano, Jordan Elmer and Grecia Equihua.

Klump led the Computer Programming and Security camp of 28 students in grades 7-12. The camp taught the students Python programming, a professional computing language. They learned that writing a program amounts to expressing sets of instructions that involve sequence, selection, and repetition. Students practiced with these three patterns using the graphical Scratch programming language to create a number of applications, including one in which two characters raced across the screen. Along the way, the campers discussed current topics in cyber security, including how websites are compromised, how viruses work, the differences between hashes and encryption, how bitcoin is mined, and why online privacy and national security often conflict with each other.

Lewis University offers a bachelorís degree in Computer Science and Computer Engineering. It also offers minors in Computer Science , Cyber Security Science, Data Science, and Web and Mobile Application Development. At the graduate level, it offers a nationally recognized for a Master of Science in Information Security program, which includes an innovative fast-track that enables students to earn both a bachelorís and a masterís degree in five years. A master's degree in Data Science is also available for students who wish to learn more about Big Data.

Lewis University is a Catholic university in the Lasallian tradition offering distinctive undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 7,000 traditional and adult students. Lewis offers multiple campus locations, online degree programs, and a variety of formats that provide accessibility and convenience to a growing student population. Sponsored by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, Lewis prepares intellectually engaged, ethically grounded, globally connected, and socially responsible graduates. The seventh largest private not-for-profit university in Illinois, Lewis has been nationally recognized by The Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.lewisu.edu for further information.

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