Meriden student joins the next generation of computer scientists

28 February 2018

While some students were lazing at the beach in the January school holidays, Year 11 Meriden student, Lily Yang, was immersing herself in in the world of computer programming, coding and robotics at the National Computer Science School (NCSS). The ten-day residential camp for students entering Years 11 and 12 brings together talented young people from around Australia for an intensive course of computer programming at the University of Sydney.

The aim of NCSS is to challenge students to think like computer scientists.

“Students are split into two streams based on their interest in either web development or embedded systems which is similar to robotics. We are required to work with that group throughout the camp to produce a project within our stream,” Lily said. “I was in the embedded systems stream and our challenge was to build something that would encourage people to exercise and measure their physical activity.”

Before commencing their projects, the participants were absorbed in lectures and tutorials which provided the knowledge they would need to develop their projects. “The lecturers and tutors were knowledgeable and approachable which made the learning environment productive and exciting,” Lily said.

The program provided insight into everyday life in the IT industry with site visits to organisations such as Atlassian, Google and Commonwealth Bank. Lily found these visits and meeting with industry professionals inspiring. “They gave us an idea of how we could use our interests and skills to make a difference in the real world,” she said.

A series of master classes run by experts in their fields provided further insight into current applications of computer science. They covered topics such as machine learning, app development and cyber security.

The schedule also allowed plenty of opportunity for networking with like-minded students. “The definite highlight of the experience for me was the people who I was surrounded by and the atmosphere they created. The energy, enthusiasm, friendliness and support that the students and tutors expressed were overwhelming in the best way. NCSS was such an inspiring experience that I cannot rave enough about it.”