Over the Summer I taught at the CS@SC summer camp, teaching basic Computer Science concepts to middle school students through Scratch. The same professor that runs the camp annually is the professor for my software engineering class, CSCI 201. During one of the first lectures, he offered extra credit for signing up and teaching a mini course through USC’s Joint Educational Program, known as JEP! After talking to some friends, I learned that many people I knew had the same opportunity for a variety of different classes.
For my specific course, I am going to be teaching Computer Science and related concepts to 2nd graders at the local Alexander Science Center School, directly across from campus next to the rose garden. Every week, I plan a lesson with my group and show up later in the week to teach it to my class. It’s an 8 week program that I’m really looking forward to participating in!
When I was teaching in the summer, I found I actually really enjoyed teaching younger students. It made me realize how much I liked talking about my major, games and in general making the topics more approachable and accessible to people who wouldn’t be exposed otherwise. I got lucky and found out through AP Computer Science in high school that I enjoyed the topic. If I hadn’t, I may have never been in CS Games or at USC, so having the opportunity to excite young students about these topics is one I couldn’t pass up. Especially for extra credit!
Even though I’m benefiting from volunteering, having more experience teaching and spending time outside of class talking about things that I’m interested in is more exciting for me. I will probably try and be more involved with JEP and teaching after this semester as I explore my interest for education and volunteering in the community more.