APC places a great premium on the learning experiences of its students, constituents, and partners. Through the Immersion Program (Tech Boot camp) which took place at the headquarters of Spring Valley Tech Corp, Senior High School students of Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion experienced a 10-day educational journey which tackled practical knowledge on issues surrounding computer science and information technology.
Spring Valley, the country’s influential network for Technology and Innovation, opened its facilities to provide students with a conducive avenue for learning. Jonathan De Luzuriaga, President of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP), the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA), and Spring Valley, said, “The spirit of the valley is saying – Create, Disrupt – Change the world by living our mantra of Tech for Good.” Technology in the 21st century continues to be disruptive in nature. It is the responsibility of academic institutions to teach people how to maximize technology and create possible solutions to address societal problems. In line with this mission, Jen Arroyo, a faculty member of APC’s School of Computing and Information Technologies, spearheaded the 10-day workshop. The event pushed through with the help of the following people:
- Thea Obamos, Executive Head of Spring Valley
- Joan Marie Macellones, Class Adviser
On the first day, students were asked to research on topics such as Computer Science (CS) and Information Technology (IT). They also looked into possible employment opportunities that CSIT graduates can eventually pursue. Aside from face-to-face sessions, the class interacted with the teacher through a task management app called “Trello.”
On the second day, a series of educational games were used to teach about programming in a fun and interactive way. Blockly Games, a project of Google, is free for everyone. Open-source software is used as a platform. Students learned how to use conventional text-based languages.
The third day turned out to be fun as well. They continued to use Blockly games such as the Bird and the Turtle. Jen introduced them to the world of programming and computing.
The fourth day involved a discussion about the loops and hoops of Java Programming. Merriam-Webster defines the word ‘loop’ as “a series of instructions that is repeated until a terminating condition is reached.” They were given a case study to investigate the issues surrounding the Bangladesh Bank cyber heist which took place in 2016. Hackers were able to illegally transfer approximately $1 billion from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York account which belonged to the Bangladesh Bank. Millions of dollars were transferred to both Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Extreme efforts were made to recover the stolen funds, yet millions remained missing as of 2018. This case study enlightened the students and reinforced the importance of knowing the ins and outs of computer programming and cybernetics.
The fifth day was marked as their ‘Game Day.’ Students were tasked to design a maze. They asked their classmates to play it. They also enjoyed the “Number Guessing Game” which challenged the students to use binary search. This activity introduced them to the binary sort which is one of the most basic and important foundations in Computer Science.
The remaining five days were spent on learning crucial topics revolving around cybersecurity, cryptography, and programming language. They were also taught how to build their respective portfolios.
Photos courtesy of Jeniffer Arroyo