Software engineering students present at Schoo Middle School

Apr 20, 2018      By Victoria Grdina

Jasmine Boyer and Jake Petersen presenting at Schoo Middle School last week.
Jasmine Boyer and Jake Petersen presenting at Schoo Middle School last week.

Computer Science and Engineering sophomores Jasmine Boyer and Jake Petersen visited Schoo Middle School last week to discuss software engineering with students.

Their presentation covered basic software engineering concepts as well as a few group activities and games to help students understand the computational thinking process.

“We felt it was very important to create a presentation that our younger audience could relate to in a positive way,” Petersen said.

Boyer and Petersen spent the semester developing the presentation as an honors project under the mentorship of assistant professor of practice Brady Garvin and associate professor of practice Suzette Person. Garvin and Person connected them with Lincoln Public Schools curriculum specialist Kent Steen, who invited them to present at Schoo. 

Steen also attended the presentation and said Boyer and Petersen did an excellent job of sharing what it means to be a software engineering student.

“It's valuable for students in middle school to learn about different career options,” Steen said. “Hearing it from college students can sometimes be more meaningful than hearing about it from their teachers.” 

In addition to covering coding concepts in the presentation, Boyer and Petersen also emphasized the importance of developing interpersonal and problem solving skills.

“I think it’s valuable that the students understand that software engineering isn’t all coding by yourself,” Petersen said. “Teamwork and communication are fundamental to the practice, which is why we centered so much of the presentation around these ideas.

Both students are software engineering majors, and will be among the first set of graduates to receive their bachelor’s degree in software engineering from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. They hope their presentation will encourage younger students to explore the career path.

“I enjoyed being able to talk about a subject I am passionate about to a younger audience that is just starting their learning journey in that area,” Boyer said. “At that age, the kids have so much potential and something like a presentation in a class like that can really open their eyes.”