Carl Sandburg Students Win 3rd Place for Mobile App Project

  Aaron Frey
  Wednesday, November 22, 2017 3:42 PM
  Campus News

Galesburg, IL

Five students from Carl Sandburg College’s IT LAN & Security Specialist program attended the 24th annual Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges (CCSC) Midwest Region Conference earlier this semester, where their project placed third in the application track of the Student Showcase Contest.

Students Doug Ferguson, Marcus Beal, Alex Emmert, Chandler Derry and Michael Clark, along with instructor Dr. Suvineetha Herath, attended the conference at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Their poster, “Mobile Technologies (ICT135) First-Year Learning Experience: Integrating Mobile Apps into the EV3 Robotic Platform,” won third place in its track, which included students from four-year schools such as Knox College.

The students’ objective was to show that even with little to no programming knowledge, it is possible for virtually anyone to develop their own mobile apps because the process has been simplified by continued growth in mobile computing.

“By simplifying the process,” Ferguson said, “it lifts one of the barriers that may keep people from looking at careers in IT.”

To demonstrate this, the students used skills learned in their Mobile Technologies class at Sandburg to create an android app that acts as a remote control. They used MIT App Inventor, a block-style programming environment, to build the app.

“MIT App Inventor also allows for younger students the opportunity to be introduced to coding at a much younger age, allowing them to have a greater understanding of computing when they are older,” Ferguson said.

The remote was then connected to a Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot, which had a sensor that allowed the robot to read color. The students said that because the EV3 platform is modular, there are ample possibilities for expansion beyond their original project. They have discussed using the skills and concepts learned from the project to develop a game involving the EV3 platform.

The CCSC is a nonprofit organization designed to promote quality computer-oriented curricula and effective use of computing in smaller higher education institutions. The Midwest Region is one of 10 CCSC regions and consists primarily of eastern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, western Pennsylvania and northern Kentucky. Its annual Midwest Region conference includes refereed papers, invited speakers, tutorials, panels, workshops and discussions on computing science education issues for smaller colleges and departments.

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Aaron Frey