#CSEdWeek: Students Talk CS — Natalie Reed, Advanced Math And Science Academy Charter School

| Natalie Reed, Advanced Math And Science Academy Charter School

National Computer Science Education Week is this week and we will be participating in a number of events in the area. We are also proud to feature local computer science students as guest bloggers right here on the Microsoft New England blog. Each of these students are an inspiration, touting their STEM skills and dedication in our local schools.
— Kolleen Lambert, Business Program Manager, Technology and Civic Engagement and Aimee Sprung, Civic Engagement Manager — Microsoft New England



School: Advanced Math and Science Academy

Grade: 12th

CS Teacher: Ms. Bandaru

When I was a kid, I had always been fascinated by what computers could do.  I was amazed that a small box could talk to computers across the globe and still keep track of my high score in pinball.  So I decided that I wanted to learn how to get the computers to do what I wanted.  I wanted to be the one to design the games and tell the computer what to do.  I wanted to create the animated movies from Pixar and make my own applications.

My favorite part about Computer Science class is the way everyone approaches a problem differently.  I may come up with one solution, but another person may be able to come up with another solution.  How you approach a difficult problem is interesting and it is fun to see everyone have different ideas.

My computer science mentors are two of my teachers, Ms. Powers and Ms. Bandaru.  Both introduced me to how amazing computer science is and nurtured my love of the subject.  They worked with me as I struggled to solve a problem and supported me as I grew in the field.  Though each of them had families and children, they were able to make time every single day (and sometimes until 11 o’clock at night) to foster my love of computer science.  They both are extremely passionate about computer science and it has made such a phenomenal impact on me.  I would not be the same person today if it wasn’t for them.

The coolest thing I’ve made using computer science was a fully functional robot.  For a competition, our team was tasked with building two autonomous robots that could complete specific tasks in less than two minutes.  I was the head coder for the team at the time, and was able to write a significant portion of the code for the robots.  That year, our team won in 3rd place in our regional tournament. I was not only proud of the robots I helped create, but also the amazing hard work and collaboration our team demonstrated in that competition.

Computer Science is my favorite subject in school by far.  Computer science is so exciting because it is a powerful tool with which you can bring your own ideas to life.  It also is so influential in our daily lives, from our computers to our cars to our thermostats.  Because technology is now integrated into almost everything, there is never a shortage in what you can learn.  It also allows you to explore the impacts of computer science in a variety of topics, like CGI in movies, or data analytics in finance.  There are no limits to what you can do with computer science, making it the most interesting subject to study in school.

Looking for more coding opportunities? Find more coding tools and resources for students, parents, and educators at microsoft.com/hourofcode.

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