Eastern Oklahoma State College

EOSC hosts first Native Americans Who Code summer camp

June 29, 2021

Bottom Row (Left to Right): Madison Brinlee of Hartshorne, Briana Evans, Kady Smith, and Rylee Sinor of Wilburton. Top row (Left to Right): Emma Irwin of Hartshorne, Stormie Bloxam, Nathan Couch-Home School, Kynlee Semeski and Aspen Kelley of McAlester.

WILBURTON, Okla. – Eastern Oklahoma State College recently hosted its first Native Americans Who Code summer camp in Wilburton.

Nine students from local schools participated in the four-day camp designed to spark interest in coding, computer science, engineering and robotics. Campers learned about logic and algorithms, flowcharts, Scratch and learned to write a simple C++ program. By the end of the week, the campers created a game and story with Scratch which was presented to the class.

The Native Americans Who Code summer camp was designed and led by Eastern faculty members Brenda Strange and Kellye Semeski. The camp was funded by Eastern’s $1.5 million Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions grant and is modeled on the Girls Who Code program.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma provided assistance with recruiting campers and the nation’s Higher Education Program, High School Student Services and Youth Advisory Board donated items for campers' gift backpacks.

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.