The Center for Research on Complex Networks sponsored the 2014 STEM Enchantment III summer program for middle school students. The program introduced middle and high school students to programming on the desktop and on Android tablets. This four week program taught students the basic fundamentals of computer science through gaming using Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) for desktop application development and the MIT App Inventor for creating applications for mobile Android tablets.
Student’s developed games and other applications for the desktop using VBA. This development environment is on almost every PC with the MS Office suite and is available to most students who have PCs at home.
The MIT App Inventor development environment is used to create games and apps on Android devices and is available to the students at home if they have a PC and an Internet connection. Students will be able to continue learning the art of app development at home with the outreach program at TSU in the coming academic year through the Young Developers Project (YDP).
Students who finished the program were rewarded with a certificate of completion and a NeuTab 7 tablet for further development. During the fall semester, Dr. Oscar H. Criner will continue the outreach program to these students with a Saturday morning program two times a month and an after school with the “Who Am I” program at Fondren Middle School.
The outreach effort is to encourage young people to prepare Apps and participate in the Confessional STEM Academic Competition, the House App Challenge. This competition is a nationwide event for high school students across the country to compete by creating and exhibiting their software applications. The Department of Computer Science, Mobil Applications Development Group, Drs. Lila Ghemri, Aladdin Sleem, and Oscar Criner will mentor the participants in the contest.
Student participants were from the following schools: Fondren, Christie McAuliffe, Eastwood Academy, Albert Thomas, YES Prep, Hartman, Pin Oak, Lewis, Sam Jamison, and Smith Middle Schools and Bellaire High School.