Eastern Oklahoma State College

Eastern hosts second annual Native Americans Who Code summer camp

June 15, 2022

Eastern Oklahoma State College hosted its second annual Native Americans Who Code summer camp May 23-26, 2022.

Eleven students from local schools participated in a four-day camp designed to spark interest in coding, computer science, engineering and robotics. Campers learned basic python language and were able to program robots to drive in different patterns, light up and play music. The students were then able to collaborate with one another to create personalized codes and share new tips and tricks.

On the final day of camp, the students put on a showcase for their parents. The staff created a slideshow with photos from the week and were able to demonstrate their newly learned coding skills. One student said, “the food was delicious, the code bots were fun to mess around with and most of all, I got to hang out with fun people.” Another student commented that they “loved the whole coding experience and atmosphere.”

The Native Americans Who Code summer camp was designed and led by EOSC faculty members Brenda Strange and Kellye Semeski. Laura Myers and Dr. Karen Harrison provided additional support to the students. The camp was funded by EOSC’s $1.5 million Native Americans Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) grant. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma provided supplies to support the camp.

EOSC plans to host a Native Americans Who Code camp each summer through 2025 and will feature topics such as advanced coding, robotics, games and app development. The 2023 summer camp will have an emphasis on drones and will be open to students in grades 8-12.

Front Row (Left to Right): Brenda Strange- EOSC, Sarah Lawrence- Wilburton Middle School, Jazmine Jessie- Wilburton Middle School, Paiton Kimbrough- Wilburton Middle School, Kaylee Price- Wilburton Middle School, Lilliana Adams- Wilburton Middle School, Laura Myers- EOSC, Dr. Patricia Ratliff- EOSC
Back row (Left to Right): Kellye Semeski- EOSC, Aiden Cirar- Haileyville Middle School, Josh Latham-Epic Charter School, Braylon Pickle-Poteau Middle School, Kevin Lie- Hartshorne High School, Owen Lively Homeschool Wilburton, Braysen Dye- Wilburton Middle School, Dr. Karen Harrison- EOSC