ThoughtSTEM featured locally on CBS-8

A computer science program coordinated by UC San Diego Extension was featured on San Diego's CBS-8 recently.

INNOVATE 8: UC San Diego graduate student Sarah Esper with a young computer science student.

The segment, part of the TV station’s “Innovate 8” series, focused on how elementary-school youngsters in a dozen schools throughout San Diego County are being taught the basics of computer science.

Narrated by CBS-8 news anchor Nichelle Medina, the 2:48-minute segment profiles ThoughtSTEM, a local non-profit firm that provides computer workshops, afterschool programs and summer camps for children ages 8 to 18.

STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

ThoughtSTEM co-founder Sarah Esper, a UC San Diego graduate student, is profiled along with several young students.

“I didn’t know anything about computer science until I got to UC Berkeley,” says Esper. “I absolutely fell in love with it.”

Adds Esper: “Over half of the computer science jobs are not being filled by our current undergraduate graduates. The problem is not that they’re not graduating. It’s that they’re not even entering into that major. … We should all know reading, writing, arithmetic and computing.”

One highlight of the video is a 7-year-old named Alaric, who says on-camera: “Do you know how many millions Flappy Bird (a 2013 video game) makes? I want to be that guy!”

On Sunday, June 1, ThoughtSTEM hosted a Scholastic Coding Faire geared toward youngsters with a penchant for creating computer games, videos and programming. Teams of students representing STEM-curriculum local schools competed for a $1,000 grand prize, among other prizes.

The Scholastic Coding Faire was held at the Jacobs Center at UC San Diego.

Next up for ThoughtSTEM: a series of three computer-based camps for youngsters in grades 3-5, Saturday, July 21 through Friday, July 25, 9 am to 12 noon daily at UC San Diego's University City Center (located off Int. 805 and Governor Drive).

Posted: 6/3/2014 12:00:00 AM with 0 comments

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