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Huston-Tillotson (HT) University, a historically Black college and university (HBCU) in Austin, TX, has announced the conclusion of the annual HBCU Coding Creativity Summer Coding Camp in partnership with Austin’s Pre-Freshman Engineering Enrichment Program.

HT’s HBCU C2 Coding initiatives allow participants to use creativity to develop apps that solve real-world problems. Students are encouraged to brainstorm and create ideas for apps that address issues in the Austin community and beyond.

The week-long camp was conducted from June 11th to 14th and empowered students in grades 5 through 12 to master coding skills using Apple devices within HT’s C2 Coding Center.

The theme for 2024, “Using Code to Sustain a Better World,” inspired students to delve into application design and development, as well as coding Sphero Robotics, all programmed using the Swift language.

The summer program provided a platform for students to explore the intersection of technology and sustainability.

The HBCU C2 Coding Center, managed by the Center for Academic Innovation and Transformation at HT, is a collaborative project supported by the Apple Community Education Initiative.

Launched in 2020, the initiative aims to bring coding, creativity, and community-connected learning experiences to Huston-Tillotson University.

“For the past four years, I have been in awe of the sheer genius Austin’s youth showcase during Huston-Tillotson’s HBCU C2 Summer Coding Camp,” said Dr. Jennifer Miles, program director. “Students as young as eight years old and high schoolers with zero coding experience visit Austin’s first institution of higher education to become the creators and doers of technology—not just consumers! Allowing children the opportunity to connect the dots between technology and sustainability efforts is beyond rewarding.”

Previously, Huston-Tillotson University partnered with Apple and Tennessee State University to host the HT campus’s HBCU Coding and Creativity C2 Center.

A three-day session was held at Huston-Tillotson’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

The Huston-Tillotson C2 Center aims to bring coding and creativity into the classroom and the Austin community by using technology to support advancing underrepresented populations and addressing digital literacy. The center provides the education and workforce to prepare students for the digital coding workplace.

In 2021, Florida A&M, Virginia State, and ten historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) were designated as Centers for Coding and Creativity as part of Apple’s Community Education Initiative and Tennessee State University’s HBCU C2.

According to Tennessee State University (TSU), HBCU C2 = {Coding & Creativity} aims to address community challenges using app design and Apple’s Swift programming language.

The HBCUs join nearly 36 universities already serving as HBCU C2 community coding centers or regional hubs.

Dr. Robbie Melton, associate vice president of the TSU SMART Innovation Global Center, stated, “In expanding the partnership to include the twelve new HBCUs, we are on track in reaching our goal to empower all 106 HBCUs with the digital competencies and technology skill sets to meet the job demands for our global digital workforce careers.”

As part of its Community Education Initiative, Apple supports the institutions with equipment and ongoing professional development to become the pre-eminent HBCU C2 community center and bring coding and creativity to their communities.

Faculty and educators at Alabama State University, Elizabeth City State University, Lane College, LeMoyne-Owen College, and others will work with Apple to identify opportunities to incorporate its Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curricula, which utilize the easy-to-learn Swift programming language. Support from Apple also includes mobile labs, opportunities for student jobs and scholarships, and funding for staff.

 

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