Eastern Oklahoma State College

Eastern hosts third Native Americans Who Code summer camp

June 28, 2023

Eastern Oklahoma State College hosted its third Native Americans Who Code summer camp June 5-8, 2023.

Nineteen students from local schools participated in a four-day camp designed to spark interest in coding, computer science, engineering, drones and robotics. Campers learned to code robots and drones using Python language.

The camp ended with a demonstration of several drones by the Choctaw Nation Advanced Technology Initiatives Program. Campers also had the opportunity to use the Choctaw technology to assist with drone missions.

The Native Americans Who Code summer camp was designed and led by Eastern faculty members Brenda Strange and Kellye Semeski. Laura Myers and Dr. Karen Harrison provided additional support to the students. The camp was funded by Eastern’s $1.5 million Native Americans Serving Non-Tribal Institutions grant and is modeled on the Girls Who Code program.

Eastern plans to host a Native Americans Who Code camp each summer through 2025 and will feature advanced coding, robotics, games and app development topics. The 2024 summer camp will focus on advanced drone coding and will be open to students in grades 8-12.  

Dr. Karen Harrison, Dr. Julie Collins, DeWayne Wren, Sarah Lawrence, Ryan Norris, Aiden Teague, Mikayla Pixley, Paiton Kimbrough, Kaylee Price, Deamon Basden, Kellye Semeski, Marcus Hartman (Choctaw Nation Drones), Aiden Cirar, Scott Driskill (Choctaw Nation Drones), Laura Myers, Matthew Wise, Kingston Vaughan, Kevin Lie, Braysen Dye, Lilliana Adams, Dillan Golightly, Benjamin Mackey, Owen Lively, Daniel Martin, Jaiden Veerkamp, Daniel Bird (Firia Labs), Lisa Goddard (GEAR UP), Brenda Strange pose with a WingtraOne GEN II Mapping and Surveying Drone.

Campers remotely pilot a drone from the mobile command center parked at Eastern’s Wilburton Campus.