Behind every world-changing computing innovation there is an innovative tech enthusiast – and the next big idea could come from a member of the 2011 Drexel University Computing Academy (DUCA) class. DUCA launched Sunday, June 26, bringing together 36 high school students from across the U.S. During this year’s program, students will be exposed to multiple areas of computing, including engineering, programming, networks, information technology, game design, even computer security and business.
“It’s wonderful to see the program grow, and to know so many students are interested in the field of computing,” said DUCA Executive Director Brenda Sheridan. “These are kids who have grown up more immersed in technology than any generation before them – it’s exciting to know that these students represent the future of computing and could potentially change the way the world uses technology.”
This year marks DUCA’s third in operation. During the five-week, residential program, students share an authentic college experience, taking classes from Drexel faculty and participating in interactive projects and labs while living in a dorm, eating at university dining facilities, investigating Philadelphia, and making new friends. This year’s class is the largest in the program’s history, with students coming from throughout Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, California, and Maine.
The program’s curriculum is designed to enhance students’ critical thinking, sharpen their leadership skills, and teach them to collaborate more effectively. Throughout their five-weeks at Drexel, students work in groups to complete a comprehensive team project. These projects are showcased at the program’s closing ceremonies. This year’s project topics include game design and development, high performance simulation, iPhone application development, high-performance simulation, and web-based applications.
DUCA is co-sponsored by The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University’s Department of Computer Science, the College of Engineering, Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts and Design, and Bennett S. LeBow College of Business. The tuition-based program is an outgrowth of the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Information, Society, and Technology (PGSIST), which was hosted at Drexel from 1998 through 2008, and was eliminated in 2009 due to state budget cuts. DUCA was developed as an alternative program to meet the demand for a quality summer educational experience for college-bound high school sophomores and juniors.
News media contacts:
Susan McDonnell, The iSchool at Drexel, College of Information Science and Technology
215-895-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Britt Faulstick, News Officer, Drexel News Bureau
215-895-2617, 215-796-5161 (cell), email@example.com