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FIRST ANNUAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMPUTER SCIENCE WORKSHOP IN CERRITOS

Coding Power board members and  instructors. Coding Power is a non-profit organization run by high school students in Cypress.

BY ANGELA XIA 

The first annual Southern California Computer Science Workshop Summit was held at Cerritos Park East Community Center this past Jan. 3,  part of an educational initiative for Computer Science, organized by the Cypress Computing Academy and Coding Power, a local nonprofit organization.

The event began with a review of the key sections of the AP Computer Science exam, shifting into the contest, which presented participants with a typical AP exam, concluding with an awards ceremony. 

ACSC Award winners at Cerritos Park East. The event was part of a broader effort to teach children computer science in the Southern California area. The founders of Coding Power, Karina Li, Meisen Wang, and Parsa Hajipour officiated the awards ceremony, personally rewarding all the participants. 

The event featured two guest speakers, USA Computing Olympiad contestants, Justin Ji and Kevin Du. Ji, a sophomore from Whitney High School, demonstrated his coding with a Raspberry Pi, a hardware device coded to measure temperature. 

His partner and current junior at Portola High, Du, incorporated fractal geometry to create art in his exhibit “The Art of Coding,” featuring whimsical geometric shapes derived from formulae. 

Wayne Yin, Oxford Academy graduate and current sophomore at Harvey Mudd, served as the event’s host, offering his own experiences with computer science throughout the event. 

The founders of Coding Power, Karina Li, Meisen Wang, and Parsa Hajipour officiated the awards ceremony, personally rewarding all the participants. 

The highest honor, ACSC 10, was awarded to Daniel Wu of McAuliffe Middle School, and Ryan Tseng of Whitney High who demonstrated a mastery of coding at the AP level.

This event was part of a broader effort to teach children computer science in Southern California area. The event “encourages kids to learn coding and provides a standard. While a lot of people teach coding, very few programs offer a step-by-step approach for kids to learn,” as by explained Emily Lu, Coding Power’s sponsor and director of Cypress Computing academy. 

The problem, Lu says, lies in the curriculum, “Typical coding classes are not focused on fundamental computer science skills like logic and mathematical problem solving that children can master. We are in the age of information technology, software is becoming more and more important in every field– we need to find a better way to teach kids.” 

The lack of tech literacy is a growing epidemic, according to the College Board, less than 2% of US high school graduates took AP Computer Science A, an introductory computer science class. 

While the industry is estimated at 40% of all total jobs by the Bureau of Labor, hundreds of thousands of Americans lack the digital literacy necessary for these positions. 

Coding Power, an organization run by high school students, strives to fix this disparity, serving the community and passing on computer science knowledge to the young generation. 

Their current work focuses on implementing coding programs in libraries and local schools, with classes at Cerritos Library, as well as Los Coyotes, Morris, and Leal elementary schools. 

The group’s annual workshop summit event will continue into next year, providing a platform for kids to learn and compete in Computer Science.

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One Response to FIRST ANNUAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMPUTER SCIENCE WORKSHOP IN CERRITOS

  1. Heartland of America

    January 20, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    ABC Unified School District is looking for diversity and growing their school district.

    Parents from the Heartland of America, would be very hesitant in searching out this school district, photo does not illustrate diversity in students.

    Photos speak words…..posted photos does not represent students across the nation.