Every summer for the past 10 years, Seidenberg has hand-selected some of the highest-achieving high school students across the nation to be a part of the Seidenberg Summer Scholars Experience (SSSE). SSSE brings these scholars together on our campus in New York City for a week of mobile hacking that will prepare the scholars for a bright future in computer programming. The camp includes an intensive hackathon that challenges their skills in team work, ideation, programming, execution, and – dauntingly for some – presenting and displaying each step of their process to their peers and mentors. For students preparing for their final year of high school, it’s a big and exciting undertaking for the summer.
What is even more enriching in the Scholar Experience is that each summer we challenge the scholars to create an application that has the potential to help a cause. In some years this has been a call for apps that augment STEM education; in other years we focused on Cyber Security and User Experience. This year, we asked the scholars to create an app around the Billion Oyster Project, a project which Seidenberg has become proudly affiliated with over the past year through a generous grant awarded to the school by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Of course, along with the challenge of hacking for multiple hours a day, the Scholars Experience is always balanced with a collection of the best adventures in New York City. The scholars get a curated tour of the tech scene, including tours of Google and Microsoft’s headquarters. They also enjoy intimate visits to startups like AppFigures, which have been pioneered by Summer Scholars of the past, as well as Seidenberg alumni. Then, just to be absolutely certain that this experience is unforgettable, the Scholars are also treated to performances like Fuerza Bruta and some of the delicious cuisine that this city has to offer.
Not only are mentors and professors shocked every year by what these scholars can accomplish in just a week, but the scholars themselves surprised even themselves with their skills! One of our scholars from Staten Island, Nicole Budzinski (top right), expressed that her own abilities surprised her, as she hadn’t taken on a project quite like this before. On the experience overall, Amanda Zeitlin and Nicole Feygin (top left and bottom right) both laughingly agreed that they were surprised to have found such good friends at “nerd camp.” With a week’s worth of days filled with fun, vigor, and excitement, the scholars are able to form long-lasting friendships with their team mates from across the States. On top of that, participants will always have a direct connection to the heart of NYC through their mentors and professors at Seidenberg.
For more information on this year’s scholars, take a look at our video introducing each scholar! Plus, this year we’ve made daily videos that can be found on our YouTube channel.
(Pictured from top: Amanda Zeitlin from NY, Nicole Budzinski from NY, Brandan Ingram from OK, Beck Fuga from PA, Nicole Feygin from MI, and Joe Redling-Pace from NJ. Photography credit belongs to Noura Boustany Jost).
More photos of the experience can be found on the Seidenberg Facebook page.