What's Up With LoudounCodes

Guest Speaker at BRMS CAMS 8 class

Well, the 2020-2021 school year is off to a roaring start, with everyone distance learning on their chromebooks. This hasn’t slowed down our county’s coding classes at all; Mrs. Fraser at Blue Ridge Middle School is actually piloting an 8th grade CAMS (Coding at Middle School) class.

My Path to Virginia Tech

My name is Emily Haggard, and I’m a senior in Computer Science at Virginia Tech. I didn’t get here the conventional way, and the short version of the story is that I was rejected from the Engineering program twice, despite having a 4.2 GPA in high school and a perfect score on the Computer Science AP exam.

Prepping for the 2020 School Year

LoudounCodes is actively prepping for the 2020-20201 school year, despire the complications of distance learning!

LoudounCodes Has a Private Slack

Did you know LoudounCodes has a private Slack?

LoudounCodes Has a Youtube Channel!

I have been a public speaker and a conference organizer for most of my software engineering career. There are a zillion scattered videos of my activities across the interwebs, and I’ve even recorded a few specifically for our computer science classes.

LoudounCodes Involved in BRMS Vex Robotics

For several years Blue Ridge Middle School has had an active Vex Robotics group consisting of several teams who participate in several regional competitions.

Influencing Young Minds

Editor’s Note: Chris Cerne is a recent graduate from Loudoun Valley High School where he was co-editor of the school newspaper, and has spent the last three years involved with LoudounCodes extracurricular activities. He provided this guest editorial for us.

Planning for 2017 Summer Activities

On Sunday, June 4th at the Purcellville Library, we will be holding a small fair for Loudoun’s high school students interested in computer science. Here’s the agenda:

Loudoun Students Attend DCFemTech Inspire

On February 22nd, 3 students from 2 Loudoun County high schools attended the DCFem Tech Inspire event in Washington DC. DCFemTech is a coalition of women leaders aimed at amplifying women in tech organizations, sharing resources, and bringing leaders together to close the gender gap. The yearly Inspire event is a celebration of the success of women in the DC tech community.

LVHS Team Places at UofMD HSPC Competition

Every year, Loudoun Valley organizes teams that compete in several HCPS coding competitions. They compete at Virginia Tech, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, and University of Maryland against dozens of other high schools.

LoudounCodes Game Nights

Board and card games are like computer science, unplugged. Thinking through the rules of some board games is exactly what we mean when we say ‘Computational Thinking’. They are also social, and just plain fun.

Blue Ridge Middle School Cyberpatriots

Blue Ridge Middle School’s Cyberpatriot teams had their first meeting this past week. The kids walked in with grins on their faces, and could hardly contain their enthusiasm as we explained the competition. They would forms teams of two to six students; and compete in a monthly, six-hour round to secure computer images. They were advised that their most important asset would be their ability to teach themselves the necessary skills.

First Computer Science Fair is a Success!

On September 17th, 2016, The Loudoun Computer Science Fair held our first annual Computer Science Fair at the Rust Library in Leesburg, VA. We had 2 classrooms going all day, teaching subjects like Scratch, Python, Ruby, Computer Art, and the Hour of Code curriculum. We also had exhibits from MakerSmiths, NovaLabs, LVHS graduates, Huzzah Hobbies, IMade3D, the Loudoun Valley STEM Club, and more. We also had 12 presentations throughout the day from Loudoun students and teachers, and a special presentation from VA delegate Tag Greason, who talked to us about Virginia House Bill 831, which adds Computer Science to Virginia’s Standards of Learning. Approximately 120 students attended the event.

2016 Cohort Meetings Three and Four

Our summer projects are well underway! At our last two meetings we learned to solder, modified a pair of expensive headphones to have a removable cord, and started building the display board for the CPUVille Z-80 computer kit. We talked about the logic of the display board and how the 74LS240 integrated circuit was used as a buffer to protect the amount of current on the processor bus, and to drive the lights on and off as the available signal on the processor lines change. We also used a breadboard to wire up a simple circuit with a 5v power supply, an LED, a resistor, and a capacitor in several circuits, discussed the difference in electrolytic vs. ceramic capacitors, and discussed the role of a ‘bypass capacitor’ when dealing with digidal logic represented with varying (analog) voltages.

Computational Thinking with Magic, the Gathering

The card game ‘Magic, the Gathering’ isn’t directly related to learning to code, but it is directly related to computational thinking; there is a lot to keep track of while playing the game that mimics modeling a running program in your head: the state of the game environment, your life, your opponents life, the cards in your hand, the value of your mana, the sequence of steps in each turn, etc. It’s no coincidence that plenty of programmers play the game.

2016 Cohort Meeting Two

We had our second meeting for our summer activiies at the Purcellville Library on Thursday, June 30th. A smaller meeting this time, with about 8 students, but still had tons of things to talk about. While the meetings are free-form, we seem to be focusing on several areas:

The LCSI Summer 2016 Cohort

We had our first meeting for our summer activiies at the Purcellville Library on the evening of June 22nd. Fifteen students showed up for 4 hours of controlled chaos; most faces were our ‘usual suspects’ we’ve worked with for 2 years at Loudoun Valley High School, but there were several new faces from Computer Math, as well as one student who was post-AP from Woodgrove!

Working With Data Curriculum Tested at Loudoun Valley

What is an AP computer science student supposed to do after they take the AP exam? Traditionally, we finish the year with a spattering of topics including data structures and algorithms… This year, in cooperation with Mr. Rodney Snyder, his two AP computer science classes, and Loudoun Valley High School, we premiered two weeks of curriculum entitled “Working With Data”, where the students learned to parse CSV files, read JSON data from live web services, and design relational database schemas and SQL queries!

LoudounCodes Hosts First Programming Challenge at Loudoun Valley

On Saturday, June 11th, LoudounCodes teamed with Loudoun Valley High School to offer our First High School Programming Challenge.

Planning for Summer Activities

Are you a rising Computer Science AP student, or a Computer Science student who just finished AP at Loudoun Valley or Woodgrove high schools? Looking for something extracurricular to do this summer? We’re having a summer organizational meeting at the Purcellville Library on June 22nd in the Robey Room..