Summer Course on Computing for Teens

For years Duane Bailey, Kim Bruce, and Tom Murtagh have talked about teaching a summer course in computing for their children and others of the same age. This year they actually did something about it. In the end, 13 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 16 came to the classes, which were held in the new Computer Science Macintosh Lab in the Bronfman Science Center at Williams College during the week of August 17 to 21.

The course focused around the world-wide web. Each day we had structured sessions in the mornings, with the(optional) afternoon sessions free for practicing what was learned that morning or earlier in the week. Here is the schedule:

Morning HTML Images 3-D Modelling JavaScript Extra Topics
Afternoon free lab free lab free lab free lab free lab

Some of the course information is available on line. This includes pieces of information from some of the labs as well as information on how to download some of the software we used.

At the end of the class, some of the children made a web page with pictures and links to each of their home pages. We think that you will agree that it is pretty impressive what they have managed to accomplish during one short week.

We're happy with what the teens learned in the classes, though there are a number of things that we would do differently if we did it again. For now, we're concentrating on catching up on all that sleep that we lost during the week!

Duane Bailey (, Kim Bruce (, and Tom Murtagh (