Greetings from the Director
Welcome new families! Our second year as an Academy was quite productive and eventful, and we’re excited and proud to have you all join us next fall. Don’t forget, if you’re new to the CSA and haven’t picked up your t-shirt, please come on by the Academy office after school or at lunch (room 27) and get a shirt.
All of our classes are engaged in end of the year projects, and the students are really letting their knowledge and creativity shine!
In case you couldn’t make it to our recent banquet and end of year celebration, here’s a short list of highlights:
- there are 175 students currently taking CS classes and we have accepted 35+ new academy students for next fall so far
- we’ve nurtured and are starting to see the fruit from many relationships with local experts in software engineering, industry leaders, educational partners, university professors and graduate students
- there are new coding classes at the junior highs, introducing more students to programming
- in addition to our popular second annual Silicon Valley field trip, we led a series of local field trips (see below)
- we’ve expanded on our popular lunch guest speaker series with a greater variety of speakers this year
- we added many more guest classroom speakers than we had last year
- we have a larger and more diverse group of students matched with mentorships and internships for this summer
- there will be students teaching coding classes this summer, and a new affiliate of Girls Who Code (GWC) at Girls Inc. in the fall
- most importantly, as to our core mission – we had 7 classes this year and taught more new things, to more kids than ever before
Congratulate your students and give them a big hug!
Mentorships / Internships
This summer, the CSA has students placed with the County Office of Education, at Computer Science related departments at UCSB, and at Novacoast.
A big round of applause and congratulations to the the SBHS Robotics Team for taking 3rd place in this year’s LA Regional Botball competition. Their top-level finish means the team will be competing this summer again at GCER, the Global Conference on Educational Robotics, to be held in Florida.
The security-hacking group of the Computer Science Club entered its first Capture The Flag (CTF) competition this April, taking 100th place out of over 300 teams. The goal was to find hidden text (flags) buried in remote systems and various kinds of files. This competition required problem solving and allowed the students to put their coding skills to use. Their second competition runs over Memorial Day weekend. Good luck team!
Calling all girls! Starting next fall and possibly this summer, there will be a new Girls Who Code (GWC) program running out of Girls Inc., which is located between SBHS and SBJH. GWC teaches computer science to girls in 6th-12th grades in a club format that’s centered around skills, exposure and community. This new GWC chapter needs high school aged mentors to volunteer their time teaching – we have a few signed up already but need more! Please contact the academy if you’d like to help out.
The last four months have seen five amazing guest speakers:
In May the CSA hosted Aaron Campos of Software.com, Openwave, BioIQ and now Dhamira. Aaron spoke to the topic of the “values of a valuable programmer,” such as being Open, Mindful, Reflective, Creative, Successful, Intuitive, Careful, Professional, Strong, and Instructive. Mr. Campos detailed how each of these traits are necessary – in addition to being a skilled coder – for finding personal growth, happiness, and value in the software industry.
For April the CSA had two guest speakers; Sven Dickinson of the University of Toronto and Matthew Turk of UCSB. Sven talked about vision in humans and vision in machines. Matthew’s talk built upon Sven’s and took us into the work of Augmented Reality, where human and computer vision gets blended together. Both speakers pointed out that their work was part of a still quickly evolving, exciting, multidisciplinary field involving computers, mathematicians, and psychologists, among others.
In March the CSA hosted Dr. Michael Trambert as our March lunchtime speaker. Dr. Trambert is a Radiologist who also holds a Master’s degree in computer science and has spent most of his career bridging the gap between medicine and technology. Dr. Trambert emphasized the value of a multidisciplinary education (e.g. CS and any other field) in creating new, interesting, and powerful areas of study and knowledge, that could be both academically and economically rewarding.
For February, the CSA hosted Tony Winter, CTO of QAD, as our lunch guest speaker. Tony related a few stories that were punctuated with several key take-away points for the kids: find what you like and immerse yourself in it; follow it wherever it takes you; and don’t hesitate to explore side opportunities along the way because they can lead to new and interesting places. Tony’s candid and fascinating account kept the students attention even after the bell rang, and left us wanting more!
For more information about our guest speakers and more, check out our Facebook feed! https://www.facebook.com/Santa-Barbara-High-School-Computer-Science-Academy-1414645635452582/
Computer Science in the News
Last month at UCSB there was a screening of CODE – Debugging the Gender Gap, an insightful and important film. From the file: “CODE documentary exposes the dearth of American female and minority software engineers and explores the reasons for this gender gap and digital divide. The film highlights breakthrough efforts that are producing more diverse programmers and shows how this critical gap can be closed. CODE asks: what would society gain from having more women and minorities code and how do we get there?” See http://www.codedocumentary.com/
Do you know anyone still deciding about academy enrollment, or who may have just moved or will be moving into the area? Let them know about the CSA!
The CSA has just received the good news that the Deckers Corporation will be donating $7,500 to the CSA effective September, for the 2016-2017 School year. Great news and many thanks to Deckers!
Appfolio Field Trip
We hope you all have an amazing and relaxing summer, whatever you do. As with the past few years, next year should be even more amazing and fun than the years before. We look forward to seeing you in the fall and hope you’ll join us – whether it’s in class, in a club, or at the first parent meeting – to make 2016-2017 the best year yet!
This newsletter and much of what you read above would not be possible without all the wonderful parent volunteers we have in the CSA. This is truly a community effort that wouldn’t happen without all of you! Please let us know what you’re willing to help with next year. For this year I’d like to give another thank you to:
- Trea DePrima: newsletter
- Susan Poirier: website
- Nancy Wall: interior design
- Tiziana DiSimone: guest speakers
- Winifred Lender: speaker lunches
- Daisy Moschitto: everything! (DB, acceptance letters, CSA email, parent mtgs, …)
- Felicia Kashevaroff: managed many of the above
- Julie Siegel and Courtney Narine: Silicon Valley Field Trip (and Dave Siegel and Gayle Eidelson!)
- Kathryn deBruynKops: help with the SVFT and local Field Trips