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Computer science camp created by high schoolers expands

Courtesy of Ground Up
A previous session of Ground Up computer science camp

Ground Up computer science camp, which was started by two high schoolers, has expanded this summer beyond its pilot program.

Co-founder and rising senior at Newark Charter School Noah Rossi wasn’t satisfied with the computer science offered in school growing up. So he taught himself some skills with the help of the internet, and then decided to share them with other students.

In middle school, his dad helped him start a summer class at his school, Newark Charter.

Two years ago, he and a friend, Daniel Gott, took over teaching that class, writing the curriculum and handling most of the business aspects. They registered it as a LLC this spring.

The camp is teaching over 40 middle schoolers the basics of coding this summer.

“We’re using Python,” he said. “It’s what powers YouTube for instance.”

Python is a text-based coding language, as opposed to a than a drag-and-drop language, which Rossi says most schools teach.

“Even in middle school, I’ve found that the kids can handle it,” he said. “They can really take advantage of the full computing powers of these systems.”

Kids enrolled in Ground Up learn to install an operating system and do self-driven projects, like coding games.

The camp even lets students keep the computer they program. These inexpensive Raspberry Pis are about the size of a credit card, and needs to be connected to a keyboard and monitor.

This summer, the camp expanded and is holding three sessions—one at Newark Charter School, one through Newark’s Department of Parks and Rec and one at SummerCollab’s Tyler’s camp for low-income middle schoolers.

The last session begins this week.


Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.