Students Pitch Programs to Prospective Families at Santa Barbara District’s Academy Showcase
High-schoolers help educate eighth-graders and their parents about the various offerings ahead of the February transfer deadline. The Academy Showcase may have outgrown its venue at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, as hundreds of families packed the informational event Thursday night boasting the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s academy programs. Organizers said about 700 people attended the event last year, and it was clear Thursday night that this year’s event would beat that. Read More

S.B. Does the Hour of Code
In unison with millions of students nationwide, all 20 school districts in Santa Barbara County participated in the Hour of Code — one week dedicated to computer coding — a global event kicked off by President Barack Obama and backed by tech giants such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

Notably, the number of schools across the county that participated in Hour of Code jumped from eight or nine last year to 76 this year. Leading the effort in Santa Barbara is self-described tech cheerleader David Bernier, who joined the county education office in August to promote technology and computer science in area schools.

On Thursday, a group of Santa Barbara High School students active in computer science trekked down the street to the junior high to assist in Marilyn Garza’s eighth-grade science class with the work — all but one of whom had never “coded” before. Read More

More information on the Hour of Code can be found at, a non-profit foundation set up to encourage more students to learn to code.

Internships are Coming!
The Internship committee, under leadership of Pete deBruynKops has been hard at work over the past months, meeting with local high-tech companies to arrange internships for students after their junior year. Internships will provide students with the opportunity to apply the skills they are learning in class to real-world problems. So far the response from companies has been very positive about the skills our students are bringing to the table with the courses they are taking in the CS Academy. We are in talks with Procore (mobile construction project management) and Citrix (online meetings and video conferencing) and others about details. More information will be coming soon about our exciting internship opportunities and how to apply. Depending on the internship requirements, students will need to have taken AP CS or Mobile Programming to apply and there will be a selection/interview process as determined by each company involved in the specific internship.

Are you a local tech insider? Do you know of possible internship opportunities for our students? Want to get involved in making connections at local high-tech companies for the CS Academy – or helping with the application process? Contact Pete deBruynKops.

First Student Lunch Talk Held in October! A Lecture on Hacking by Dr. Giovanni Vigna of UCSB
On October 14th, the CS Academy hosted our very first student lunch speaker. Dr. Giovanni Vigna of UCSB talked to us about developing new techniques to find security flaws–from web servers to voting machines. Professor Vigna also spoke about the world’s largest hacking competition, which he organizes every year – International Capture The Flag (iCTF). About 60 students attended and enthusiasm was high for Dr. Vigna and his exciting work. Everyone also enjoyed a pizza lunch. Many thanks to our speaker lunch team: Tiziana de Simone & Tana Kincaid for making this event happen! We also appreciate a generous donation from the Kincaid family for providing the student lunches for these events. Thank you!

Do you have an idea for a great speaker? We are always looking for people with an inspiring story to tell and enthusiasm for the field of CS. Contact Tiziana de Simone if you have a suggestion!

Silicon Valley Field Trip set for Jan 24-26th
Led by SBHS teachers Paul Muhl and Joe Velasco, the CS Academy’s first field trip will take place in late January when juniors and seniors enrolled in the CS Academy Master (3-year) and Academy (2-year) programs will drive north for a visit to the world famous mecca for software engineering. In addition to visits to the offices of Facebook and Google, the group will take a tour of the Stanford campus as well as the Computer Science department at Cal Poly. The group will have a chance to speak to a current Computer Science student at Stanford, as well as several software engineers. They will also visit the Tech Museum of Innovation as well as the Computer History Museum. The trip is being coordinated by parent volunteer Kathryn deBruynKops.

Two CS Academy Juniors Teach Girls-only Coding Camp
This past summer, CS Academy Master Program juniors Anna Brewer and Maria de Angelis, created and ran a girls-only coding outreach summer camp called Dream It, Code It. The camp was such a success that they will be running a follow-up camp starting in January, designed specifically for girls in 5th through 9th grades. The girls worked under the guidance of CS Academy advisor and Cal Poly professor Zoe Wood to create the innovative two-week program to teach middle school girls an easy-to-learn programming language called Scratch.

The girls created projects such as a two-player tag game, a virtual pet, and a game intended to teach about a social or environmental issue in Santa Barbara. In addition, they heard presentations from professors, software engineers and local executives. Maria and Anna, both in their third year of computer science at SBHS, won a grant to start the camp and enjoyed creating fun projects that would appeal to their female audience. The girls use digital drawing tablets, and attached pens to robots and programmed them to write “Hello World!” on paper.

The response to the camp was overwhelmingly positive. “We asked girls to raise their hands if they were interested in coming to SBHS and joining the Academy. Almost all of their hands shot up,” said Anna. After only one day of camp, one girl exclaimed, “my parents made me do this camp, but it is way more fun that I thought it would be!”

Both Maria and Anna hope to study computer science in college and hope their enthusiasm will rub off on their campers. Maria commented, “on the last day of camp, one surveyed camper commented “I think now I am smarter in technology and I will go to school, hopefully being the person who knows how to fix the teacher’s computer…I hope that girls all over the world will be computer geniuses.”

Students may enroll here. For more information, visit their website or send them an email.

Computer Science Club at SBHS
Junior Adam Eidelson and several SBHS CS Academy students including Gabe Speer, Will deBruynKops, Cooper Johnson, Maria de Angelis and Anna Brewer, have founded the new SBHS Computer Science Club. Among the first projects will be helping Paul Muhl and Richard Johnson with the Hour of Code week in December. Adam notes that, “the SBHS Computer Science Club is not a club, it is a team” and he and his colleagues are looking forward to pursuing exciting competitions where this team can work together on difficult coding and hacking problems. Adam has spearheaded a drive in conjunction with Computers for Families, whereby the SBHS community can donate their unwanted computer equipment to those less fortunate.

The club meets every Wednesday at noon in Room 25. For more information about the SBHS Computer Science Club, contact Adam.

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