With an eye toward the future, Department of Engineering Systems Professor Adrian M. Peter and graduate students Rana Haber, Eddy Ihou and Mark Moyou spent four weeks teaching Viera Charter School first graders about computer science and coding.
Nearly 100 students in five classes participated in the pilot program, where Peter and his students used both traditional methods and non-traditional ones such as live demonstrations and on-screen games to help teach the students basic programming techniques. The engaged first-grade faculty at the charter school reinforced the lessons through related homework and in-class activities.
Federal studies have shown that STEM jobs are expected to increase by as much as 62 percent by 2020, even as fewer than one in five American high school students is interested in that area of learning.
“We are doing this to inspire the future generation and build up the next decade’s engineers, which the country is going to be lacking,” said Peter, who is also co-director of the Information Characterization & Exploitation Lab at FIT.