Students become 21st-century learners at MSDE Summer Center for Computer Science


To 21st-century learners in Baltimore County Public Schools, "Java" isn't a type of coffee, "C++" isn't an above-average grade and "Python" isn't a type of snake.

During the summer, 24 BCPS students and three teachers participated in the Maryland State Department of Education's Summer Center for Computer Science and Creativity. An opportunity for students to exercise their problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, the Summer Center allowed students to design a final project to present at the conclusion of the session.


Over the course of two weeks, students learned to program using SCRATCH and ALICE software and create animations using visual objects and straightforward commands that make computer programming easier to understand. The skills that the students developed by using SCRATCH and ALICE provided a useful foundation for learning more-advanced programming in languages such as Java, C++ and Python. Students also investigated the importance of Internet safety and explored potential career options in computer science and cyber-security throughout the session.

At the end of the two-week session, the participating students left with mastery of critical executive function skills, including project management, collaboration and communication.

The Summer Center for Computer Science and Creativity is one of three MSDE summer center programs to which BCPS is affiliated. The other programs are the Summer Centers for Geospatial Technologies and Space Science.

Story by Karena Curtis, StarLab Resource Teacher, Office of Elementary Science, and Blake Lubinski, intern, Department of Communications and Community Outreach. Photos by Karena Curtis, StarLab Resource Teacher, Office of Elementary Science
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