As part of Computer Science Education Week, several Fermilab employees participated in Hour of Code, a global initiative to bring coding activities and role models to local schools to demystify computer programming and science. The lab partnered once again with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago to send its staff to visit elementary, middle and high schools. Participants spoke about their careers and assisted students with coding exercises led by their teachers.
Despite the fact that most schools do not teach computer science, our participants happily noted that the students at the schools they visited were well prepared and, in many cases, have had at least an introduction to coding.
Fermilab scientist Marco Mambelli, who participated in Hour of Code for the third time this year, visited several second-grade classrooms at Anne Garcia Benavides STEAM Academy in Aurora as well as classrooms from grades three to eight at Frazier International Magnet School in Chicago.
“It was a good experience,” Mambelli said. “Two amazing schools with curious students and an obvious desire to dig into the work and joys of coding.”
Scientist Manolis Kargiantoulakis gave a live demonstration of data collected from sensors on a microcontroller, followed by analysis and graphical manipulation, to students to students at Infinity Math Science and Technology High School in Chicago.
“I was impressed with the students’ projects,” Kargiantoulakis said. “Some of them were quite advanced designs based on robots and preparing for competitions.”
The Fermilab participants and the schools they visited are:
Kris Brandt: St. Charles East High School, St. Charles
Penelope Constanta: C.F. Simmons Middle School, Aurora
Pengfei Ding: Boulder Hill Elementary School, Montgomery and Clinton Elementary School, South Elgin
Lynn Garren: Long Beach Elementary School, Montgomery
Ken Herner: Community High School, West Chicago
Manolis Kargiantoulakis: Infinity Math Science and Technology High School, Chicago
Marco Mambelli: Frazier International Magnet School, Chicago, and Anne Garcia Benavides STEAM Academy, Aurora
Margaret Votava: Longwood Elementary School, Naperville
Marcia Teckenbrock is the communications manager in the Office of the Chief Information Officer.