Peninsula Bridge students build apps as part of computer science boot camp


By Christian Wagner

The nonprofit Peninsula Bridge, which runs a number of programs to help local students from lower-income families succeed in high school and college, is partnering with Amazon Web Services this summer to conduct a two-week computer science boot camp for its students.

As part of the boot camp, 40 of those students are building apps for Android devices. On Tuesday, July 25, those students, in teams of five, will give presentations on their apps before venture capital and business leaders at Menlo School in Atherton.

At this "Shark Tank"-like Student App Showcase, one representative from each team of students will give a 90-second summary of an app.

Judging the apps will be Aarti Chandna, a Silicon Valley Social Venture Fund board member and Menlo School parent; Dave Strong, the COO/CFO of IDEO; Mike Yuen, a partner at Isabella Partners; Annalee Embry, an engineer from Google's Software Engineer, Tools and Infrastructure group; and other business leaders from the local community.

Each member of the winning team will be awarded $500 of college scholarship money, according to Jocelyn Swisher, co-executive director of Peninsula Bridge

The Student App Showcase will take place in the Middle School Commons of Menlo School.

The boot camp classes are being held at Amazon Web Services, 1900 University Ave. in East Palo Alto.

"This exposure is critical to allow our students to compete in our high-tech economy," Ms. Swisher said.

Peninsula Bridge is offering this coding course in conjunction with its High School Academy, which assists underserved students with high levels of academic potential in their efforts to graduate from high school and prepare for college. In 2016, Peninsula Bridge reported that 100 percent of its students plan to attend college after high school.

"We all know that in our economy it is imperative that all college students need at least some facility with computer science to succeed in college and careers," Ms. Swisher said. "We aim to introduce our high school students to building apps for Android devices as a fun way to deepen their CS knowledge."


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