hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 3, 2013

A camp of a different kind

Not a sports camp or an outdoorsman's camp, but a place to learn computers

These students may have participated in sports camps or summer camps, but this was a different “camping’’ experience.

It was a Mobile Application Boot Camp where they learned the fine points of working with computers.

Haverhill High School juniors and seniors in teacher Elaine Mistretta’s Computer Science Course visited Northern Essex Community College’s Haverhill campus for the camp.

The 14 students learned how to design and build mobile applications for Android devices using MIT AppInventor, a programming tool developed by MIT.

The boot camp was taught by NECC Computer Science Professors Russ Gouveia and Michael Penta, who volunteered their time, with assistance from NECC computer science student Adrienne Ramage of Groveland.

MIT AppInventor is tool that “democratizes programming,” Penta said. “It allows anyone familiar with computer programming to create software applications.”

Using the tool, students in the class were able to create Magic 8-balls and a kitten that tweets a meow.

Northern Essex offers Computer & Information Sciences associate degrees in three areas — applications, computer science transfer, or information technology — as well as a liberal arts associate degree with a computer & information sciences focus.

Certificates are offered in computer applications, computer forensics, computer networking, help desk, information technology fluency, and web design.

For more information, contact enrollment services at admissions@necc.mass.edu or 978 556-3700 or visit necc.mass.edu.

With campuses in Haverhill and Lawrence and extension sites in Methuen and Groveland, Northern Essex Community College is a state-assisted college, offering more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as hundreds of noncredit courses designed for personal enrichment and career growth.

More than 7,400 students are enrolled in credit associate degree and certificate programs on the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses. Another 6,700 take noncredit workforce development and community education classes on campus, and at businesses and community sites across the Merrimack Valley. Northern Essex is the only state college in the lower Merrimack Valley.

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