Gun­ston Coders re­turn to Dart­mouth lab

Record Observer - - Schools -

CEN­TRE­VILLE — The Gun­ston School sent a group of com­puter sci­ence stu­dents to visit Dart­mouth Col­lege’s DALI dig­i­tal arts lab dur­ing the week­end of Jan.19-22.

The stu­dents took part in cod­ing and pro­to­typ­ing ac­tiv­i­ties pro­vided by the lab, had an op­por­tu­nity for a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion and showed DALI staffers projects they have been de­vel­op­ing at Gun­ston.

“It was great to see that the DALI lab staff have cho­sen to ex­tend and broaden our work­ing re­la­tion­ship,” said trip leader and com­puter sci­ence teacher Joe Thomp­son. “This year, in ad­di­tion to the planned ‘hack­tiv­ity,’ we were in­vited to both a de­sign res­i­dent work­shop in the soft­ware Sketch for Dart­mouth un­der­grads, and were given a tour of a dig­i­tal music pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity with a DALI staffer.”

The trip was led by Thomp­son and Gun­ston col­lege guid­ance coun­selor Kellee Webb.

“DALI is my kind of fa­cil­ity,” Webb said. “Their heavy em­pha­sis on col­lab­o­ra­tion and cre­ativ­ity are ex­cel­lent fits for our school’s meth­ods and mis­sion.”

“Once we were in­vited,” Thomp­son said, “we built a week­end around our visit, as we did last year.”

Ar­riv­ing late Thurs­day evening, the stu­dents toured the cam­pus Fri­day morn­ing, lunched in the un­der­grad­u­ate Dart­mouth com­mons, then headed to the DALI lab for a full af­ter­noon of cod­ing, in­clud­ing work­ing with the lab’s new vir­tual re­al­ity gear.

“They are do­ing in­ter­est­ing VR work with NASA to help as­tro­nauts on long­du­ra­tion mis­sions deal with stress,” Thomp­son said. “We were very lucky to get a look at that equip­ment and soft­ware, to see where VR is headed.”

This year’s stu­dents in­cluded seven sopho­mores and one se­nior. Katie Easter, Claire John­son, Brynne Knee­land, Cora Dun­can, Will Urquhart, Nick Basham and James Pratt all are mem­bers of Gun­ston’s class of 2019. Cliff Peng is a mem­ber of Gun­ston’s class of 2017.

“I have got­ten used to the idea that our vis­its are not just wel­comed, but useful to this lab,” Thomp­son said. “CS ed­u­ca­tion at the high school level is rare, and we take their sug­ges­tions for tweaks to our pro­gram very se­ri­ously. They can see their sug­ges­tions in our stu­dents’ work.”

From left are Claire John­son of Church Hill, Will Urquhart of Queen­stown, Nick Basham of Trappe, Brynne Knee­land of Stevensville, Cliff Peng of Cen­tre­ville, Cora Dun­can of Cen­tre­ville, Katie Easter of Gra­sonville and James Pratt of Ch­ester­town.

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