Students in Guilford College’s new cyber and network security major will give children at Glen Haven Community Center in Greensboro an opportunity to learn about robotics and computer programming in a two-week afterschool program in January.
A Guilford student team led by Ashley Collins ’17 and Damian “Alex” Hinton ’17 earned funding from Google for the program. They submitted a successful proposal for a grant designed to ignite interest in computer science among children in underserved communities.
According to Chafic Bou-Saba, assistant professor of computing technology and information systems, the children at Glen Haven will learn while playing with a Sphero robotic ball, which is a gaming device controlled with a tilt, touch or swing of a smartphone or tablet.
“It’s very easy and intuitive and the kids will have a lot of fun with it,” Chafic says. “We’re excited to have this opportunity to promote computer science and extend our long-running relationship with residents of the Glen Haven community.”
Glen Haven Community Center, located among the homes of over 40 refugee and immigrant families, has been a community partner with Guilford’s Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning for many years. Students tutor, mentor and design extracurricular activities for refugee children from Vietnam, Liberia, the Sudan and other countries.
Google’s igniteCS grant program provides funding and resources for groups of college and university students to make a difference in their local communities through computer science mentorship.
“The proposal process was a great and total team effort among the students, and resulted in what may be the first Google grant of its kind in North Carolina,” he says. “Our students embody Guilford’s core values in that they are always striving to give back and help.”
According to Chafic, Guilford students will have an opportunity to apply for the Google grant in future years.