An incoming UC Santa Cruz student mentored high school students at the three-week coding course from Ohlone College and Stanford University.
SANTA CRUZ, CA — Incoming University of California, Santa Cruz student Malaika Sud led a group of high school students in learning to code during a three-week partnership course between Ohlone College and Stanford University in June and July.
Sud recently completed her studies in computer science at Ohlone and will transfer to UC Santa Cruz in the fall.
She led a small group of students with limited coding experience, and said she was impressed by their enthusiasm for the topic.
“Their eagerness to learn increased day by day with each new aspect of [computer science] they were introduced to—they’d ask more questions, provide more input when we’d code together, and come up with unique ways to approach the problems we’d been given,” Sud said.
The partnership between Ohlone and Stanford was aimed at high school juniors and seniors with little to no programming experience, and 68 students completed the virtual three-week course.
The program was tuition-free, and founded on the belief that computer science is for everyone, according to a press release from Ohlone. At this year’s program, participation had a 50/50 male-to-female ratio, with some students coming from under-resourced backgrounds and schools, Ohlone said.
The was taught by Ohlone adjunct professor of computer science Doug Case and Stanford professor and Ph.D candidate Ali Malik, and is based on an existing Stanford Python programming course.
The Ohlone-Stanford partnership is the first time the program has been offered in the United States; Stanford has been running the program internationally since 2014.
“It’s been a great partnership between Ohlone College and Stanford and I’m pleased that we were able to be the first to collaborate and offer this program to students in the United States,” says Doug Case, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Ohlone. “It was great to see the students advance in their programming skills so quickly.”
Students’ final projects included the creation of games like Tetris, Hangman and Tic-tac-toe, graphical demos, and a live, online Ethereum bitcoin price chart.
Instruction was delivered via Zoom and small groups, and section leaders met with groups of eight to 10 students to offer mentorship and reinforce concepts introduced in lectures.
The 10 section leaders included five Stanford undergraduates and five Ohlone students —including Sud — who had recently completed their studies in computer science and are in the process of transferring to various UC schools.
Sud said she wanted to help inspire other students to study computer science.
“Regardless of your background or identity, you can easily find a place in computer science that fits your interests,” she said. “Even if you don’t plan to continue studying [computer science] for a career path, it can still be relevant to your future endeavors and can be applied to so many things including art and game design.”