Elementary Students Experience Computer Science At Camp Pendleton
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez
June 17, 2018
Local elementary students gained hands-on computer science
experience attending Microsoft Corporation's YouthSpark Live Seminar
at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California in March 2018. The
event marked the first time that Microsoft brought its program to a
military base, with plans to hold similar events at additional bases
later this year.
Students from Stuart Mesa
Elementary School participate in a Science Technology
Engineering Mathematics class during Microsoft's YouthSpark
Live learning seminar on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton,
California on March 20, 2018. YouthSpark is a program which
gives youth an opportunity to interact with and learn about
the multiple aspects of computer science. (U.S. Marine Corps
Photo by Cpl. Anabel Abreu Rodriguez)
U.S. Marine Corps retired Maj. Gen. Chris Cortez, now vice
president of military affairs at Microsoft and former assistant
division commander for 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, spoke
about the advantages of YouthSpark and the milestone reached by
hosting on a military base for the very first time.
tell you how pleased I am to be here today," said Cortez, "not only
proud of what Microsoft is doing for our military children but also
to be back to what was my home for a long time."
priority focus is on computer science education, with the ultimate
goal of inspiring young people to pursue a career enabled by
technology. Microsoft employees spent time with students in a
question and answer type forum, providing insight on how technology
touches almost every occupation.
"It's about taking what's in
your hand, and doing something with it." said Carmen Summers,
director of technical sales, "you can end up going into the same
field that you thought you weren't good at and impact it in a
Students then hunkered down with Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) based instruction.
They broke off into groups and worked together with provided
materials to construct a robotic hand. Learning breaks were also
offered to give students more insight into the fundamentals of their
project, while also developing team building and leadership skills.
"Its super fun." said Aryana Shaw, student, "I would definitely
recommend it to my friends."
Parents of the participants were
invited to observe the program and hear from students on what they
learned, as well as their favorite moments of the two-day event.
"This is amazing!" said Lt. Col Eric M. Beckmann, Combat
Logistics Regiment-15, father of an attending student, "I think all
schools should have this opportunity."
will be bringing their YouthSpark events to additional military
bases ... including Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; Schofield
Barracks, Hawaii; Fort Brag, North Carolina; and, Joint Base San