Incorporating Complexity in Computing Camps for High School Students - A Report on the Summer Computing Camp at Texas A&M University

Summer computing camps for high school students are rapidly becoming a staple at High Performance Computing (HPC) centers and Computer Science departments around the country. Developing complexity in education in these camps remains a challenge. Here, we present a report about the implementation of such a program. The Summer Computing Academy (SCA) at is a weeklong cybertraining program offered to high school students by High Performance Research Computing (HPRC) at Texas A&M University (Texas A&M; TAMU). The Summer Computing Academy effectively uses cloud computing paradigms, artificial intelligence technologies coupled with Raspberry Pi micro-controllers and sensors to demonstrate "computational thinking". The program is steeped in well- reviewed pedagogy; the refinement of the educational methods based on constant assessment is a critical factor that has contributed to its success. The hands-on exercises included in the program have received rave reviews from parents and students alike. The camp program is financially self-sufficient and has successfully broadened participation of underrepresented groups in computing by including diverse groups of students. Modules from the SCA program may be implemented at other institutions with relative ease and promote cybertraining efforts nationwide.