UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus to Host ‘CodeDay Boston’ May 25-26

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UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus to Host ‘CodeDay Boston’ May 25-26


DATE:    Saturday, May 25 to Sunday, May 26

TIME:     Noon to noon. Media can see active coding 3 p.m. Saturday

               Access to projects and interviews 9 a.m. Sunday

               Judging 10 a.m. Sunday

WHAT:    CodeDay Boston, student teams build games and apps

WHERE: Shaw Conference Center, UMass Amherst Mount Ida Campus, Newton


About 75 middle, high school and college student programmers, artists and science buffs from the Boston area are expected to take part in 24 hours of workshops and presentations on CodeDay Boston for part of the Memorial Day weekend. The local event is one of dozens of CodeDays happening simultaneously in cities across North America. During the event students will be able to work alongside or compete with those in other cities.

Judges for CodeDay Boston, all students, will evaluate team projects for difficulty and effort, creativity and fun, intangibles and polish. They include Jerry Fu, Angela Lei and Nishad Ranade of UMass Amherst, Jason Yu of O’Bryant High School and Sonia Omwenga of Wentworth Institute of Technology.

CodeDay begins with each student who has an idea pitching it to the group. Participants of all skill levels will form teams around the one that interests them. Students must be in high school or college and 25 or younger to participate; middle school students may attend until 8 p.m. Mentors will assist teams to produce new apps and games for their mobile devices and computers. Though they are mostly beginners, CodeDay attendees create hundreds of apps and games each season. The weekend concludes with a friendly competition among teams who may win prizes.

Executive director Tyler Menezes of SRND, international organizer of CodeDays, says the nonprofit aims to increase student diversity in computer science worldwide. The organization points out that only 20 percent of technical workers at leading tech companies are women, and fewer than 10 percent are Black or Latino. Though schools and others have tried to close this gap, few underrepresented students enroll in classes. By contrast, SRND’s programs attract students who give it a try. More than 70 percentof new coders who attend are still programming several months later, the company says.

World-wide sponsors of the Google Play event include splunk, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, business operations software maker SAP, State Farm Insurance, San Francisco-based coding educator Make School, electronic components manufacturer Digi-Key electronics and a new CodeDay partner, The New Girl Code.

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