Students interested in making computer science a career will be showcasing projects and taking part in friendly data-driven contests Saturday for the inaugural Riverside County Computer Science Community Summit.

“We want to increase awareness and interest in computer science, and ultimately increase access to computer science courses for our students,” said Dr. Dennis Large, director of educational technology for the county Office of Education. “The summit highlights the incredible student work happening in our schools and offers innovative and creative ideas to further those endeavors.”

According to Large, more than 80 student science projects will be displayed, and participants will be invited to square off in an e-Sports Interactive Playground at the Office of Education Conference Center in Riverside.

Lego Robotics will also be available for students to experiment with, he said.

According to organizers, parents will be welcome to attend and speak with teachers, some of whom will take part in a Microsoft Innovative Minecraft Academy workshop titled, “Build it, Make it, Know it! Design Thinking with Minecraft.”

Mentors in the science, technology, engineering, math — STEM — fields will be on hand, as well, to talk about career opportunities.

“We need computer science in everything we do today, and the skills our students gain are needed everywhere,” county Superintendent of Schools Dr. Judy White said. “Computer science is one of the most transferable occupations, offering limitless opportunities, high pay and great job satisfaction for our students.”

More information is available at rcoe.k12oms.org/eventdetail.php?id=159076 .

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