FIU STARS is part of a national organization called STARS Computing Corps, whose purpose is to provide leadership, mentoring, and technical skills as a means to broaden participating in computing. This year’s SCIS Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards were presented to two STARS leaders: Matthew Womack was the IT winner, and Jahkell Lazarre was the CS winner.
STARS also conducts outreach programs for local K-12 schools. We are in our 3rd year of RISE UP 4 CS, providing twice-week webinars and monthly on-campus events to help high school students from underrepresented groups pass the AP CS A exam. Last year, 7 of the 8 HS students who completed our program scored a perfect 5 of 5 on the AP CS A exam. Our top performing HS student was awarded a quadcopter drone with VR capabilities in our end of term award ceremony. RISE UP 4 CS is run totally by STARS tutors and mentors, and was funded in the past by Google and is currently funded by Ultimate Software. A total of HS 40 students have enrolled for this year’s RISE program.
A coding workshop outreach to 4th and 5th graders was conducted at Greynolds Elementary School last Spring by STARS members to introduce young students to the process of learning to solve problem solving, using logic, and understanding basic coding processes. Our goal was to entice these youngsters to consider computing as their focus for the future.
FIU STARS also provides high-quality peer tutors to CS and IT majors. Many of our tutors become Learning Assistants as well.