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AUS concludes successful 11th computing camp for high school students in the UAE
Demand in the UAE for those with coding skills is high, as evidenced by the launch of the UAE’s National Program for Coders, the largest initiative to foster the development of coding talent in the country. American University of Sharjah (AUS) continues to develop promising young coders in the UAE through its annual computing camp. The AUS High School Computing Camp is one of the region’s most coveted bi-annual training programs, introducing high school students to computer coding and programming, and with it, the opportunities the field of computer science and engineering offers. Its 11th edition welcomed 155 high school students studying in grades 10 to 12 from 40 different UAE schools. Divided into two groups, participants attended daily sessions and worked with seven AUS computer science lab instructors.
Students learned about a wide range of subjects including algorithms, variables, control and conditional statements and loops in programming in Python; programming Internet of Things (IoT) devices and basics of building smart homes; Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) using practical examples; basics of building mobile apps; basics of game development using the programming language Scratch; building and configuring a computer network; and Boolean logic principles and basics of building a computer in digital systems design.
Speaking about his experience at the camp, Ayaan Mallick, a grade 11 student at Al Diyafah High School, said: “At first, I thought that we would only cover the basics since the camp was for six days, but we actually covered so many big topics. It was fantastic. Also, we did not study theory alone, but we went ahead and practiced coding and programming on our own. As someone aiming to go into computer science, this camp was very beneficial for me as it gave me an insight into the six different fields that I could go into.”
The computing camp was also an eye-opener for student Kinza Khan from Victoria English School, who comes from a humanities background.
“I signed up for this camp as a beginner. This camp opened my eyes to the different types of technological advancements around me and taught me how to program. I have walked out of this camp more confident than before and this shows that no matter what your background is, this computing camp is worthwhile,” she said.
Caron Thomas, a grade 10 student at Delhi Private School, found the computing camp a learning opportunity, as well as a platform to exchange experiences with fellow students, saying: “As a teen, this camp helped me navigate my core interests with ease. The teaching staff was supportive, smart and fun to interact with. The camp allowed me to share this experience with fellow students and to have a platform to freely interact with people who had similar interests. This camp has definitely helped shape my outlook on the various career paths out there.”
Speaking about the importance of the computing camp, Dr. Fadi Aloul, Professor and Head of the Department of Computer Science at AUS, said: “We have been organizing this computing camp twice a year for high school students for years because we believe that it is important to expand their horizons and introduce them to the unlimited opportunities computer science and engineering offer. AUS is an active participant in the development of the country’s talent and expertise in various areas. With the launch of the UAE’s initiative to foster the growth of its digital economy, we find that computing and coding programs like the AUS High School Computing Camp attract talents at a young age by introducing them to a new field and nurturing an already deep-rooted interest. The camp also helps them achieve excellence and develop their soft skills to become innovative entrepreneurs.”
AUS offers bachelor’s degree programs in both computer science and computer engineering, along with a master’s degree in computer engineering. For more information about these programs, please visit www.aus.edu/cen/department-of-computer-science-and-engineering.