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High School Computer Competition

Student Information Technology Education and Scholarship (SITES) & National High School Computer Competition (HSCC) Programs

Throughout the year, local chapters conduct SITES training programs for the youth in their communities. These programsHSCC are designed to expose our youth to the concepts of computers and give them the expertise to develop web applications. Some chapters will participate in regional competitions throughout the country to further prepare their students. Each BDPA chapter is able to send one team of 3 to 5 students to the National Conference to compete against teams from chapters all over the country.

The BDPA National High School Computer Competition, (HSCC), was founded in 1986 by Dr. Jesse Bemley, of Washington, D.C. What started as a two-team event between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Ga. has grown to over 20 teams of various high school students from chapters throughout the nation. It's all designed to introduce our Youth to the field of Information Technology, encourage them to seek higher levels of education, and groom many of them to become our next generation of IT professionals.

Once at the National Conference, students will be able to attend Workshops and Seminars covering topics related to Personal Development, Academic Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Information Technology. They will be able to participate in activities including, Corporate Sponsored luncheons and receptions, visits to educational attractions in the hosting city (i.e. museums and college tours), and networking evenings with IT professionals and students from around the country. On top of all this, they get to showcase their talents in the National Competition which consists of a timed computerized written exam, oral questions and the development of a web application. If they feel creative, they can also participate in a T-Shirt Design Competition.

Student Eligibility
Students who will be entering the 9th through 12th grade during August or September or graduating from high school the year of the competition are eligible to participate. They must also be a member of BDPA and sponsored by a local chapter.

 

10 Organizations for Learning to Code

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10 Organizations for Learning to Code

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learn_to_code

Colleges no longer have a monopoly on education, and programming is no exception. These 10 organizations can teach you to program just the way you like it: free or paid, online or offline, hands-on or hands-off. Rather than threaten you with a bad grade, they entice passionate students with the promise of a new skill, a new community, and maybe some cute badges.

Virtual

  • Codecademy: An online platform with free courses in JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and jQuery. Plus, anyone can create a course and share it with aspiring programmers. They also organized Code Year, an initiative to teach more people to code in 2012, and Code Summer+, which teaches programming to disadvantaged youth.
  • Code School: Online coding education for just $25/month. If you prefer to pick and choose, you can buy any of their grab-bag of courses individually. They also created Try Ruby, a basic tutorial that lets you play around with the language.
  • Treehouse: An online library with over 750 training videos. A lot of the content is free, but you can subscribe monthly to get access to their whole collection.
  • Google Code University: For a more self-directed experience, browse Google’s library of courses and videos – particularly tutorials and introductions for beginners. You can also check out the Python and C++ classes taught at Google itself.
  • MIT Open Courseware: The most popular course among all MIT’s free course materials is Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. You get handouts, homework, and quizzes – just like MIT, but without the big price tag.

In Person

  • Hacker School: A free, 3-month program in New York City with a few lectures and speakers, but mostly heads-down programming. It’s aimed at hackers who already love coding, who want to write free and open source software, and whose goal is to learn (not build a product or startup). The summer 2012 session of Hacker School is in full swing at Etsy, which provided $5,000 grants to female students.
  • Code Academy: Paid, 3-month classes in web development, user experience, or HTML and CSS. Code Academy is based in Chicago at the 1871 incubator. Applications for the fall program close on August 12.

For the Ladies

  • Girl Develop It: Technical workshops for female programmers held around the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. They aim to create a supportive environment where women can join the discussion and show off their skills. Courses are also available online.
  • Hackbright Academy: A 10-week training program for women in San Francisco – half learning, half doing. Applications for the fall program are due in August, and it costs $6,000.
  • Girls Who Code: An 8-week summer class teaching programming to high school girls in New York City, which began this Monday. They will take trips to Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare and work on a final project that tackles a challenge in their community, like recycling.

Programming isn’t for everyone, sure. But if it is for you, you’ll find tons of resources to help along the way.

Update: Also check out Dev Bootcamp (a 10-week program in San Francisco to learn Ruby on Rails) and Web Start Women (courses in web design and development for women in Boston).

HSCC Testimonial: Jamarr Hill (BDPA Detroit, 2003-2004)

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HSCC Testimonial: Jamarr Hill (BDPA Detroit, 2003-2004)

Jamarr Hill was a member of the High School Computer Competition (HSCC) team trained by BDPA Detroit chapter to compete in the National BDPA HSCC championships held in Philadelphia (2003) and Dallas (2004). He graduated from Martin Luther King High School before studying for a marketing degree at Wayne State University. Jamarr is the owner and chief executive officer of his own company, Balla-Status, Inc.



I would like to thank Mr. Wayne Hicks for the opportunity to share some experiences that I had as a proud alumni of BDPA’s High School Computer Competition (HSCC). From the moment we tested to see where our skills were, I knew that I would love my journey. I was blessed to have wonderful teachers and excellent sponsors. I learned Java (the best programming language to date) and was able to piece together something that made me feel empowered, creative and cutting-edge. I don't know if BDPA knew it, but they were really preparing me for the future as web applications and design was in its infancy at that time.

After learning a new language and then learning to play a role. We were introduced to an environment that made the inner geek in me smile from ear-to-ear. We traveled to Philadelphia for the 2003 national HSCC championship. There seemed to be thousands of high school aged pioneers at the hotel. We were all there, not just to win, but to learn and grow.

Looking back on those years allowed me to see that I was being steered in a direction that affected my college choices, career choice and life choice. Thank you BDPA. I owe you all my happiness.



BDPA Education and Technology Foundation is proud to be able to share these HSCC testimonials for posterity. We appreciate Jamarr and the hundreds of other young men and women who have participated in almost 30 years of HSCC championships! We can use your help with funding college scholarships for young people like Jamarr.

BDPA Detroit Team Finishes in Top 10 in National Competition

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BDPA Detroit Team Finishes in Top 10 in National Competition


It wasn’t easy, but they did it — with skill, hard work and determination.

Left to right: Charles McIntosh Jr., Cameron Hughes and Austin Little work diligently on their project.


The Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA) Detroit team built an application from scratch, finishing in the top 10 in the National High School Computer Competition, Aug. 2-4 in Baltimore.

Team members Austin Little, Charles McIntosh Jr. and Cameron Hughes were upbeat about the experience.

Little, 17, of the University High School Academy in Southfield, was a second time participant in the competition.  While he lamented spending lots of time fixing things as they built the application, he was positive about competing: “We learned a lot, and it will benefit us in the future,” he said.

Learning skills in execution was beneficial to McIntosh, 15, of Cass Technical High School in Detroit. “Seven hours is not a lot of time to build an application.” he said. “The competition taught me how to manage my time wisely and how to organize things.”

Perhaps the most philosophical comment came from Cameron Hughes, 16, of University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

“Even if we don’t do as well as we had hoped, it was a good learning experience and a personal victory,” he said.  “We learned a lot about how to manage our time.  The last five minutes were by far the most productive.”

Knowing their hard work and tenacity, Compuware Quality Assurance Analyst Daisha Herring was proud of their ninth place rating out of 18 competing teams. “If they keep at it, they will probably win a place in the top 5 next year,” she said.

For the past 16 years, Compuware has sponsored the BDPA Detroit team to the national competition. During this time, the Detroit team has won five national competitions.  Last year the team came in second, as it did in 2009.

MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

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MOOCs: Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities

MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses.  Although there has been access to free online courses on the Internet for years, the quality and quantity of courses has changed. Access to free courses has allowed students to obtain a level of education that many only could dream of in the past.  This has changed the face of education.  In The New York Times article Instruction for Masses Knocked Down Campus Walls, author Tamar Lewin stated, “in the past few months hundreds of thousands of motivated students around the world who lack access to elite universities have been embracing them as a path toward sophisticated skills and high-paying jobs, without paying tuition or collecting a college degree.”

Although MOOCs are the latest trend, not everyone agrees that schools should offer them.  Joshua Kim Insight Higher Ed article Why Every University Does Not Need a MOOC noted that offering free material may not make sense for the individual university.  It may be more important to stand out in other ways.

There may also be some issues for students who lack motivation.  Since a MOOC is voluntary and there is no penalty for dropping the program or lagging behind, there may be issues with course completion.  Although a student may have received an excellent education, there will not be a corresponding diploma.

For those who desire a free education and have the motivation, the following includes the:  Top 10 Sites for Information about MOOCs:

  1. Udemy Free Courses – Udemy is an example of a site allows anyone to build or take online courses.  Udemy’s site exclaims, “Our goal is to disrupt and democratize education by enabling anyone to learn from the world’s experts.” The New York Times reported that Udemy, “recently announced a new Faculty Project, in which award-winning professors from universities like Dartmouth, the University of Virginia and Northwestern offer free online courses. Its co-founder, Gagen Biyani, said the site has more than 100,000 students enrolled in its courses, including several, outside the Faculty Project, that charge fees.”
  2. ITunesU Free Courses – Apple’s free app “gives students access to all the materials for courses in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations.”
  3. Stanford Free Courses -  From Quantum Mechanics to The Future of the Internet, Stanford offers a variety of free courses.  Stanford’s – Introduction to Artificial Intelligence was highly successful. According to Pontydysgu.org, “160000 students from 190 countries signed up to Stanford’s Introduction to AI” course, with 23000 reportedly completing.”  Check out Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere link.
  4. UC Berkeley Free Courses – From General Biology to Human Emotion, Berkley offers a variety of courses.  Check out:  Berkeley Webcasts and Berkeley RSS Feeds.
  5. MIT Free Courses – Check out MIT’s RSS MOOC feed.  Also see:  MIT’s Open Courseware.
  6. Duke Free Courses – Duke offers a variety of courses on ITunesU.
  7. Harvard Free Courses – From Computer Science to Shakespeare, students may now get a free Harvard education. “Take a class for professional development, enrichment, and degree credit. Courses run in the fall, spring, or intensive January session. No application is required.”
  8. UCLA Free Courses – Check out free courses such as their writing program that offers over 220 online writing courses each year.
  9. Yale Free Courses – At Open Yale, the school offers “free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University. The aim of the project is to expand access to educational materials for all who wish to learn.”
  10. Carnegie Mellon Free Courses – Carnegie Mellon boosts “No instructors, no credits, no charge.”

 What is MOOC Video

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