2nd Annual BP STEM Summer Institute Program -- June 3rd - 14th, 2013

Xavier's Computer Science Department (CPSC) continues to respond to the need to prepare more students for technology careers. Funded by BP America, Inc., CS: Exploring Computer Science at XU enriches the computation-specific studies of both college and high school students. Xavier undergraduate students (mentors), with prior instruction from the faculty, teach and mentor high school students through hands-on learning challenges in the computation sciences. This program is distinguished by its interactions of college students leading high school students through computational problem-solving tasks.

We had 56 high school scholars participate in this year's program. They hailed mostly from Louisiana and the surrounding cities but we also had scholars from Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. We had lots of 8th and 9th graders, an equal number of 10th and 11th graders, and even some seniors. We had almost an equal ratio of females to males. We had a diverse population that included: African Americans, Asian Americans, Caucasians, Indian Americans, and other ethnicities. Admission into the program was FREE and contingent upon completing a required online application and health screening. Our mentors included recent graduates (May 2013) who majored in computer science, biology, chemistry, and physics. The rest are majoring in computer science, computer information systems, computer engineering, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, pharmacy, and mass communications.

View our program brochure -- Be patient while downloading this 'pdf' file

2013 Challenge Areas

This summer we explored the many ways technology has left the office desktop and is now in-hand as mobile applications and remote-controlled as mobile robots. Our learning challenges were related to oil and natural gas exploration tasks in accordance with this year's theme, "computation brings mobility to oil and natural gas exploration." This year, we had fun exploring computer science through mobile app development for the Android platform, through robotics using the Lego Mindstorm kits, and with digital signal processing using GarageBand and iMovie software to create audio and video. We had competitions to showcase what we learned with deserving scholars winning prizes.

Mobile App Development (Android)

Using MIT'sapp Inventor App Inventor, the scholars learned about software design and practices as they learned to create mobile applications for an Android device including a 'location finder' app that used triangulation of geolocation data to find 'oil well sites,' around Xavier's campus in what we called the 'Oil Scavenger Hunt.'

Best Team - Oil Scavenger Hunt

Austin G., Carl L., Angele M., and Jeremy O.

Best App #1 - Billboard Top 10 Music Player

Eude L.
A voice activated music player that plays the top 10 songs on the billboard chart.

Note - This 'apk' file will only work for Android devices

Best App #2 - Mystery Doors Game

Kerry L.
A game that requires the user to click through to a mystery door. It may be two doors or ten.

Note - This 'apk' file will only work for Android devices


The scholars learned to build and program Lego Mindstorm robots to simulate the tasks used to search for oil, avoid or overcome obstacles and also control the robots with a mobile app. They also had fun wrestling each others' robot out of a make-shift robot-wrestling arena.

The Best - Sumo Challenge

Christian H., Janet M., and Derick S.

Download - Christian, Janet, and Derick
Note - Be patient while downloading these 'mp4' files

The Best - Maze/Obstacle Challenge

Kai O.

Note - Be patient while downloading this 'mp4' file

Digital Signal Processing

Using software from Apple's iLife suite, GarageBand and iMovie, the scholars learned to show how sound and visualization are used in the complex search for oil and natural gas. They created movies and music and illustrated their creative talents in different ways.

GarageBand - Best Song

Cleveland C. and Winston P.

Note - Be patient while downloading this 'mp3' file

iMovie - Best Movie

Justin L. and Jeremy T.

Note - Be patient while downloading this 'm4v' file

Opening Day Video

The 2013 opening day video created by our mentors and shown on Monday June 3rd, 2013 highlights the different areas the scholars will explore computer science with us.

Download -- Note - Be patient while downloading this 'mp4' file

Closing Day Video

The 2013 closing day video created by our mentors highlights the work and creativity of both the mentors and scholars during our program. The scholars actively participated in its creation. It brought to a close an exciting time with the scholars on Friday June 14th, 2013.

Download -- Note - Be patient while downloading this 'mp4' file


View 2013 Mentors and Scholars here