College excited for second year of ALICE student institute

For the second year, the Marietta College’s Departments of Education and Computer Science are putting together a program that encourages middle and high school students to broaden their horizons and learn about computer science programming tool.

Discovering the Wonder of ALICE Programming: Adventures in Computational Thinking Student Institute will welcome middle school students to campus June 14-18 and high school students the week of June 21-25. Applications for both are due no later than Monday, May 3.

“While students tend to be familiar with the use of computers, many have not been exposed to the programming process,” said Bob Van Camp, Associate Professor of Computer Science. “ALICE provides a fun but powerful way to introduce students to programming. We will also introduce Computational Thinking in the institute as part our grant. We look forward to working with middle and high school students this summer.”

After receiving the National Science Foundation grant, ALICE planning got under way. ALICE is a 3D programming environment that makes it easy to create an animation for telling a story, playing an interactive game, or a video to share on the web.

The weeklong adventure is a free program open to Ohio and West Virginia middle and high school students. Running daily on the Marietta College campus from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the program will offer free lunch and snacks to all participants.

ALICE will show participants that computer programming is a creative, artistic, and collaborative endeavor that can be fun and rewarding. Students will learn fundamental programming concepts in the context of creating animated movies and simple video games. In ALICE, 3D objects, people, animals, and vehicles populate a virtual world and students create a program to animate the objects. Students will use computational thinking in the process of developing ALICE programs.

Since there is an enrollment limit of 24 per program, eligible participants will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. For more information or to apply, visit ALICE’s website or contact Elaine O’Rourke, the Director of the Program, at ebo001@marietta.edu.