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Youngsters Experience Coding and Drone Operation

JONESBORO – A highlight of Arkansas State University’s Summer Camp Academy this year was the CUSI Coding Camp, June 17-21.

The CUSI Coding Camp was led by Dr. Jake A. Qualls and Dr. Hung-Chi Su, faculty members in the Department of Computer Science, and several A-State students. Continental Utility Solutions, Inc. (CUSI) sponsored the camp.

“We want to help excite kids about a potential career, a potential education, in the technology areas.  Northeast Arkansas benefits as we have more kids prepared with that technology mindset ready to go to college, and ready to stay in our area in our growing computer and technology sector,” stated Michael Guerriero, CUSI president.  “There is an incredible demand for students who have technical skills, and partnering with Arkansas State to begin inspiring our local students through technology is the key to our region’s future.”

Instructors used six drones to teach programming and actual testing of drones in flight on the final day of camp, within an indoor enclosed facility.

The camp focused on creating a hands-on programming experience and introducing high school students to the many facets of computer science.  The programmable Tello EDU drone was used to provide a platform for learning Scratch and Python programming languages.  A licensed drone pilot, Michael McGuirt, oversaw flight plans during the demonstration.

The Summer Camp Academy is organized into categories: STEM camps, arts academy camps, academic success strategies camps, and cooking, sporting, and gaming camps.  The second round of sessions start July 8.  A camp list with themes, topics, dates, times and other details is available online at AState.edu/youth.

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