In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, six Systers cadets from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), USMA chapter of The Association for Computing Machinery's Council on Women (ACM-W) along with two EECS faculty members traveled to West Point Middle School (WPMS) to interact with middle school students and future coders. The event was led by Cadet Haley Steele '19 and coordinated by Dr. Suzanne J. Matthews and Lieutenant Colonel David Harvie of EECS and Ms. Wonee Aversa of WPMS.
During the "Hour of Code" activity, coding club members were introduced to Chibitronics, a set of electronic stickers designed to engage students in art and computing. Cadet Steele, who organized and led the event, learned about Chibitronics at the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and was inspired to engage West Point middle school students with it. Cadet Steele led a training event in Spring 2018 to introduce cadets to Chibitronics, so they would be prepared to help the middle school students. The middle school students used Chibitronics to create light-up holiday cards for their loved ones. The event was a huge success with the middle school students absolutely enamored with Chibitronics and having a wonderful time creating their cards. Cadets assisted as students got stuck, with faculty only assisting as needed on top of that. All in all, the activity was a huge success.
In addition to Cadet Haley Steele, the cadet volunteers were: Cadets Tianna Johnson '19, Carlie Sleeman '19, Taylor Bradley '21, Cara Shattan '21), and Kennedy Warren '21. The faculty volunteers were Dr. Suzanne J. Matthews and LTC Dave Harvie.