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UT Austin does more than just provide a world-class education to its own students. As a public school, we’re constantly extending our resources and knowledge into the broader community that we’re a part of.

UTCS Lecturer Alison Norman and a group of UTCS undergrads recently took a turn in giving back at Austin’s Steiner Ranch Elementary School. They hosted a workshop to get kids interested in tech as part of the school’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) after-school program.

Tara Awad Watches Students Programming

At the workshop, Norman and her students taught the fifth graders to program flashing lights with Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software, which received a lot of positive feedback throughout the school. Noticing that all of the UTCS students who volunteered were female, some of the elementary school girls who participated were excited to see that “there were so many girls that were into computers.” More exciting yet is the possibility that this event peaked the younger girls interest in tech as well.