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UW to Host ‘Exploring Computer Science’ Event Dec. 10

November 22, 2016
photo of hand holding small computer device
Wyoming middle school and high school students will learn about arduinos (pictured) during an “Exploring Computer Science” event hosted by UW Saturday, Dec. 10, from 12:30-2:45 p.m. An arduino is a computer that has inputs and outputs, essentially a Lego with brains. (UW Photo)

As part of Computer Science Education Week in the state, the University of Wyoming will participate in and host several activities Dec. 5-11.

During the week, Ruben Gamboa, a UW professor of computer science; and Lynne Ipiña and Dan Stanescu, both UW associate professors of mathematics, will host computer science events and encourage schools throughout Wyoming to begin offering AP Computer Science Principle courses. The three faculty members received a National Science Foundation grant that supports professional development for Wyoming teachers to develop and teach such courses. Teddi Hofmann, K-14 project coordinator for the College of Engineering and Applied Science, and several UW students will provide several elementary schools in southeast Wyoming with coding activities.

UW will host an “Exploring Computer Science” event for middle school and high school students Saturday, Dec. 10, from 12:30-2:45 p.m. Activities planned include explorations in robotics and artificial intelligence; secret messages and coding; painting through coding; raspberry pis and arduino devices; and using technology to keep plants alive.

There is no registration fee for the event. Interested student participants need to be in grades 6-12, and must register online at by Sunday, Dec. 4, to attend the “Exploring Computer Science” event. Due to space constraints, the event will be capped at 100 students. Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by Monday, Dec. 5.

Student participants will receive complimentary tickets to the UW men’s basketball game against the University of Montana at 4 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Arena-Auditorium. Families of student participants can purchase extra tickets at the discounted rate of $19 for each adult and $11 for each child (3-12 years old). Details on purchase of these tickets will be provided in the e-mails informing the students of acceptance.

For questions, email Bryan Shader, UW’s special assistant for research computing, at For the latest information, go to exploration.html.

UW’s efforts are a collaboration of the Office of Research and Economic Development, the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the College of Education and the Wyoming Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). 

Additionally, the Wyoming Department of Education invites all schools to participate in an Hour of Code. The Hour of Code is a global movement -- reaching more than 100 million students in more than 180 countries -- with a focus of expanding access to computer science and coding lessons. Participating schools are encouraged to publicize their Hour of Code events through local and social media outlets, and to invite community members to join in their efforts. UW faculty and staff will serve as volunteers to help with Hour of Code activities in Wyoming K-12 schools.

For more information about these events, go to to learn more about Computer Science Education Week; go to to learn more about the Hour of Code; and go to for Wyoming school participation.

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