#CSEdWeek: Students Talk CS — Sonny Diep, Boston Latin Academy

 |   Sonny Diep, Boston Latin Academy

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

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School: Boston Latin Academy
Grade: 12th
CS Teacher: Ms. Roche

Ever since I was ten, I aspired to become an engineer. I conversed with many experienced engineers, including MIT alums, and asked for advice on pursuing my dreams. Many of them suggested that I should minor in Computer Science, because it would help me if I were to work with other engineers. The knowledge of programming would give me an advantage in my career field because I would be able to communicate well and understand what my partners are doing. I was also inspired by my MITES friend, Reynaldo, who created his own IPhone app. I am interested in learning how to make my own games as well.

My favorite part of the class is the labs we do. The labs consist of difficult tasks that we have to accomplish within a set amount of time. When I do the labs, I feel as if I am an actual engineer solving real life problems, though these labs are probably much easier. For me, it is fun to solve problems and play around with the Java. There’s no better feeling than compiling code and seeing that it works.

My mentors are volunteers from an organization called TEALS. Their names are: Mr. Swindell, Mr. Flagg, Mr. Souza, and Mr. Hughes. These four talented men are experienced programmers who take time out of their day to teach us computer science. Their expertise and passion in the field provides a great resource for students to use. If I had to pick, my favorite mentor would be Mr. Swindell because he has a very unique personality and sense of humor. He is also the most experienced engineer, thus he is able to address everyone’s questions effectively and in depth.

AP Computer Science has to be my favorite subject of all time. It may seem far-fetched, but I always look forward to doing APCS homework; I would switch all of my classes for only computer science in a heartbeat. I love this class because I enjoy solving problems that involve finding patterns and using creativity. I am used to solving problems by pen and by hand, but I have never encountered a problem that required the use of a computer until now. It’s amazing how many approaches one can have to solve one single problem.

During the summer, I attended the MITES summer program at MIT. One of the classes I took was Engineering Design, in which I had to design a robot and compete with my classmates. My teammates and I created a unique, versatile robot that can load multiple blocks, navigate through enemies, and score in multiple towers. The robot was remote controlled and is able to rotate 360 degrees in one spot; it also has built in dual conveyor belts that launches blocks into the towers. In the end, my team won first place!

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