Tuesday, December 13, 2016
“Hey Now, do you want to play a game?” The robot’s eyes flash red to indicate it understands the question raised by the blonde haired smiling girl standing before it.
“Yes, what game would you like to play?” came Now’s response, to the delight of the group of children encircling the machine. Engaging with Now was just one of the many activities students engaged in during the chilly December Computer Science and Engineering day at the University of Wyoming. This event was held in partnership with the nation-wide hour of code, celebrating computer science and its application and came on the heels of Governor Matt Mead’s proclamation that December 5-11 would be Computer Science Education week.
Vice President for Research, Bill Gern, spoke to approximately 50 students and their parents about becoming engineers, the practical and fun applications of such careers and opportunities that await students here at the University should they come in the future. He shared tales of his own children pursuing computer science and the cool opportunities available to them now, as adults.
An important element of the event was diversity. Students traveled among six different stations in which they experienced how code and computer science informs art while painting by code, ecology while testing water and light of plants through Arduino technology, developing and deploying secret messaging through code, moving robots by using brain waves, as well as the more traditional robotics activities.
Students came from across southwest Wyoming to participate. In addition to the coding activities, participants and their families attended a University of Wyoming men’s basketball game and watched the Cowboys defeat Montana’s Grizz.
We offer many thanks to the professors, undergraduates, and graduate students who donated their time and enthusiasm with students!