Service to the community is an important mission we strive to fulfill. Our school seeks to have both a global scientific impact and an engaged and relevant local impact to technology-related industries in Miami and South Florida. Whether we are providing advanced workshops for teachers, demonstrating the state-of-the-art technology at an event, or providing at-risk students with opportunities to learn about technology, our faculty, staff, and students are committed to sharing our knowledge and talents for the betterment of society.


Photo of Miami Springs High School students Rachel Quijano and Norlan Nunez

SCIS host Summer Youth Internship Program at FIU

Photo of Miami Springs High School students Rachel Quijano and Norlan Nunez

Miami Springs High School students Rachel Quijano and Norlan Nunez spent five weeks this summer at SCIS thanks to the Florida International University 2018 Summer Youth Internship Program, a STEM collaborative initiative between FIU and Miami-Dade County Public Schools. A total of 150 students participated throughout different colleges.

Rachel and Norlan had no prior experience using 3D software but were capable of creating complex and coherent 3D games after only 15 hours of instruction that covers object-oriented programming concepts such as class/object and inheritance, and other traditional programming fundamentals such as loops, arrays, and conditionals. The students also learned to satisfy project requirements for a particular theme, which in this case was fall prevention. Finally, the students developed presentation skills to explain a particular algorithm in which characters are animated to interact with each other. For example, student Norlan Nunez coded an algorithm in which the soldier teases the skeletons by getting near them and then running away, thereby causing all skeletons to eventually group together to attack the soldier. And Rachel Quijano coded a representation of the Roman Aqueduct by using arrays and loops to stack together arches of different sizes.

Rachel Quijano Project:

When a girl is challenged by her best friend to cross a small pond by jumping on rocks, she doesn’t realize the big lesson she’s about to learn. When traveling around, one must always be careful to avoid fall hazards. Whether it’s as simple as walking up the stairs or crossing a bridge, or as difficult as jumping across moving rocks and riding a boat. You will experience many different scenarios which will help you develop your abilities in order to avoid fall hazards in the future. Along the way, you will meet interesting characters, explore a friendly environment, and learn valuable facts about falling. In the end, you will receive a special reward for completing the challenge: You get to visit the grand aqueduct castle on the island, so be prepared to pass Ashley’s challenge if you’re hoping to visit the grand kingdom!

Norlan Nunez Project:

An elite group of 4 set out from the planet Earth to find a suitable planet for homo sapiens and when things seem to be going well, one of the 4 elite space soldiers gets left behind on a quick examination of the planet Secedium. The planet seemed to have been habitable before with a race of aliens. These aliens died off because they were not able to survive and all that was left was a pit and a bridge. To examine the planet, the soldiers would have to cross the bridge; and to get back, they would also have to cross it. The bridge has been there for many years and is not very stable. The pit is filled with the dead warriors that once roamed the planet’s civilization. A large sandstorm hit the planet’s surface that was 3x larger than the biggest storm that had hit Earth. The shuttle was able to survive the harsh conditions of the storm, but sadly a soldier was left on the other side of the bridge. Now in order for that one soldier to get back, he needs to cross the bridge which is highly unstable and about to collapse. If the soldier were to fall down there, he would then have to face the skeletons’ wrath or manage to get back across the bridge with this artificial intelligent teleporter that would bring him back to his starting position. Once the soldier manages to get across and to the ship, he will then be greeted by his commander and they will be able to fly away to the next planet in search for humanity’s next “home”.

In construction sites, workers have to usually climb or get across to a certain area. One cannot be afraid of falling or take the chance of falling because just like in this simulation, the result when one falls isn’t pretty. Making risky choices can lead to some deadly results.

Photo of GEN2050 Summer Youth Enrichment Program visiting FIU ICAVE

GEN2050 visit to ICAVE

Funded by The Children’s Trust, the largest funder of after-school, youth enrichment and summer camp programs in Miami-Dade County, GEN2050 Summer Youth Enrichment Program at the Peacemaker Family Center serves disadvantaged youth ages 12-19 living in Miami Gardens, Florida. GEN2050 youth are the people who in the year 2050 will be the leaders of our world locally, nationally, and internationally. Within GEN2050 are at-risk, urban youth and young adults who may be “left behind” as the future unfolds in various sectors such as education, business, health, STEM, and government.

The GEN2050 seven-week, summer youth enrichment program engages at-risk, urban youth in an intensive, learning environment designed to inspire and prepare them for the future. Key partners in this summer program’s visit to FIU included the Florida Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine Green Family Foundation Neighborhood HELP, and FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences. On Friday, July 27th, GEN2050 youth toured the Stocker AstroScience Center, attended a financial literacy workshop, practiced a mindfulness session with the NeighborhoodHELP team, and visited the I-CAVE. During their visit to the I-CAVE, students shared how they learned to use Unity 3D and code in C# to produce simulations in which users can practice mindfulness through meditation.


“Thank you for allowing my GEN2050 VR Student Team to visit the Integrated Computer Augmented Virtual Environment Lab today! They were so inspired.

~ Linda Freeman, Executive Director, Peacemaker Family Center


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Photo of the Girls Who Code Panel 2018 at FIU

Women in Computer Science Panel Discussion and Networking

Ruth Suarez (SCIS Academic Advisor), Cristy Charters (SCIS Instructor), Amy Renshaw (Code/Art Co-founder and President), Alejandra Massuh (WICS Student Organization President), and Darlene Holland (Chemistry and Coding Educator) acted as panelists during yesterday’s Women in CS Panel event. Their contribution was invaluable. The Girls Who Code national administration gives a lot of importance to this event because out of about 80 summer immersion programs that run during the summer nationwide, and which collectively reach above 1500 high school girls, very few programs expose the participants to an event like the Women in CS Panel event we had at FIU, where 60 participants hosted at three different institutions meet at a single location to network and discuss current issues on their career interests. The discussion centered around workplace changes necessary to better serve women in CS, women’s role in the family and society, different sub-fields and types of positions in CS/IT, and leveraging social media to alleviate challenges.


“It was a fulfilling and rewarding time spent interacting with GWC participants, encouraging them to pursue their passion in Computer Science/IT, and sharing tips on how to overcome challenges that may occur along the way.  It is very beneficial to foster a network of women in CS/IT, a sisterhood of support, to provide advice and encouragement to one another.”

Panelist Cristy Charters


“For the participants, it was really empowering seeing a diverse panel of women in tech.”

Sara Saleem, FIU Girls Who Code Instructor


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Photo of Mario Eraso

FIU-SCIS STEM Coordinator discusses math outreach program at elementary and secondary school

Photo of Mario ErasoWhen you glance at your bracelet or a painting in a museum, it’s easy to assume that little to no math was used in their creation. But according to Mario Eraso, engineering and artistry go together more often than we think.

“When I see artists that are creating jewels, or jewel-making, that process is engineering at a miniature scale,” said Eraso. “If you think about the artist and the scientist, what they have in common is that they observe with close attention and detail.”

Eraso, the STEM coordinator in the School of Computing and Information Sciences, displayed his knowledge in STEM education during “Mixtape Mondays,” an event hosted by Frost Art Museum where FIU faculty share their research interests.



FIU-SCIS STEM Coordinator discusses math outreach program at elementary and secondary school


Photo of Verizon Innovative Summer STEM Camp 2018

Verizon Innovative Summer STEM Camp 2018

This year Florida International University School of Computing and Information Sciences, in conjunction with the STEM Transformation Institute hosted the Verizon Innovative Learning summer STEM camp for minority middle school boys for the second year. In attendance were 53 boys returning from six Miami-Dade County Schools (Jorge Mas Canosa, John F. Kennedy, MA Milam, Kinloch Park, West Miami, and Norland). During the camp, we reminded the boys that they embody and possess the engineering habits of mind to be successful in STEM fields and re-exposed them to the engineering design process and programming principles. They took these reminders and showcased them through their VEX robotics creations. The camp culminated in a VEX robotics competition and engineering design challenge judged by local Verizon engineers. We were also fortunate enough to host Miami’s very own Captain Barrington Irving and his flying classroom, where the students were able to fly drones through an obstacle course and program Sphero robots. Through experiential learning and inspirational student-mentors, we hope we inspired another generation of computing professionals and engineers.


Written by Monique Ross


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Photo of Kierstin winning Top Teacher Award

FIU Coding Clubs Girls participated in the 3rd Annual Code/Art Miami event

The FIU Coding Clubs Girls participated in the 3rd Annual Code/Art Miami event, which was attended by 350 people and held on Sunday, May 20, 2018, at University of Miami.

Some stats about the event:

  • Thanks to a SCIS-Code/Art MOU signed on October 15, 2017, in which the two organizations agree to collaborate on efforts that promote middle school girls’ exposure to computational thinking experiences, FIU Coding Clubs members were able to participate in the 3rd Annual Code/Art Miami event.
  • Kierstin Matsuda, FIU Coding Clubs Program Leader, received the Top Teacher Award. Kierstin has been accepted to FIU Grad School.
  • 11 of the 26 FIU Coding Clubs girls participated in the event. All of them won awards, and each submission was made during the weekly club sessions at FIU.
  • Dominique S. won 1st place for the Self-Portrait People’s Choice Awards (attendees of the event choose their favorite JavaScript program).
  • Keren R. won 2nd place for the Interactive category and top ten for the People’s Choice Awards.
  • Lauren and Angela won 2nd place for the Team Submissions Category. Their submission was created at the FIU Coding Clubs BETA Hackathon!
  • The rest of the girls received top ten awards in at least one category. Lily got top ten in the Interactive category as well as in the Animation category.
  • Taylor Rivera, the first graduate of FIU Coding Clubs, has been accepted to FIU CEC. Taylor is a long-time dedicated TA for our clubs and was present at the event helping with program logistics and as TA during the Coding Workshop for Students and Parents facilitated by Kierstin.


Samples of Self-Portraits coded using JavaScript:       Tropically Beautiful               Inspired by Anime’s            Hypnotizing Eyes           Like Mona Lisa               Mesmerizing Green Eyes            Thoughtful Girl and Cute Pony                Passion for Coding and Panda Bear


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Photo from the 13th Annual FIU High School Programming Competition

FIU High School Programming Competition

Saturday, April 14th, 120 amazing high school computer science students and their teachers participated in our 13th Annual FIU High School Programming Competition. They were amazing in every way. I know many of you graduated from South Florida high schools, and you might find your school among them.

Here is the scoreboard:

It’s really amazing that Cypress Bay High School’s team was able to solve 10 difficult problems in only 4 hours. And Doral Academy solved 9 problems. The problems required the kinds of algorithms taught in Data Structures here at FIU (weighted shortest path, spanning trees, dynamic programming).

I want to give my most generous thank you to our fine group of dedicated judges let by Giuseppe Vietri, Wendy Martinez, Jesus Cabrera and former members of the FIU programming team; Dr. Mark Weiss, the keynote speaker; and the amazing group of volunteers who made this all possible.

Kierstin Matsuda, Volunteer supervisor

Volunteers: Ariel Vigueras, Cristian Cepeda, Jehf Denezaire, Leonel Diaz, Christian Gamboa, Isabel Heyninck, Adolfo Jimenez, Noah Ortega, Frantz Paul, Fernando Perez, Vanessa Rivero, Chris Solano, Giancarlo Vazquez, Antonio Ramos, Alberto Cabello

Each year for the last 13 years, FIU has offered this programming competition to the South Florida Community. In addition to sponsorship by Ultimate Software, the contest is supported by the School of Computing and Information Sciences at Florida International University.



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Group photo of FIU Coding Club Hackathon

FIU Coding Clubs Hackathon

The hackathon was the third and last spring event organized by middle school girls from the FIU Coding Clubs. Thirty students participated: 18 from the FIU Coding Clubs and 12 from our partner Code/Art, a local nonprofit organization. Four SCIS female students facilitated the event. The hackathon had the goal of creating a website showing event pictures and the group projects/games created in Scratch. All participants will be able to access the website during their free time at home to improve their projects and to play the games created by their peers. Out of four choices dealing with global warming and pollution, the participants selected eliminating ocean pollution as the theme of the hackathon.

Scratch Projects/Games:

  • Fish dodging water pollution (3)
  • Distinguishing between recyclable and non-recyclable trash on beaches (2)
  • Divers collecting ocean trash (2)
  • A modern world without ocean pollution 100 years into the future (1)
  • Community service to help ocean animals in need (2)


See more information about the event here:

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Photo of teach students stem at FIU CASE Spring Break 2018 Mini Camp

FIU CASE Spring Break Mini Camp

FIU SCIS collaborated with FIU CASE in the design of  STEM activities for the FIU CASE Spring Break Mini Camp. SCIS students Cristina Alonso and Lissett Munoz implemented coding, robotics and encryption activities with 25 of the 35 Miami Dade County Public Schools elementary students who participated in the event.

Coding with Scratch

Tuesday, 3/27 and Wednesday, 3/28
PC 322
– Coding loops, conditionals, and variables
– Coding games in Scratch

Robotics and Encryption

Tuesday, 3/27 and Wednesday, 3/28
PG2 120
– VEX Robotics Mechanics and Programming
– Binary Encryption and Computational Thinking

Photo of Miami Dade County Public Schools students at FIU CASE Spring Break 2018 Mini Camp

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The AAA and SAS Programs FRC team will be competing in the South Florida Regional FRC Competition

FIU SCIS and the Sculptures Lab, under the supervision of Mario Eraso and Robert Chambers, partnered to provide a site on the FIU campus to high school students who during 6 weeks (January 6 – February 17) built and tested a robot in preparation for the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC). The students are juniors and seniors in the FIU AAA Program and the Miami Dade College SAS Program, both of which are full-time, dual-enrollment programs.

About FIRST:

Founded in 1989, FIRST is a not-for-profit public charity designed to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, and to motivate them to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. Impact: Over 88% participants have more interest in doing well in school and 92% are more interested in attending college. Projections for the 2018 FIRST Robotics Competition: 3,650 teams and 91,000+ participants, ages 14-18 in Grades 9-12. For more information on FIRST:

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FIU Coding Clubs Showcase

The FIU Coding Clubs Showcase is a family event in which the club members present to the community games and projects they have coded using Scratch. The more advanced students present educational slides on the fundamentals of coding and discuss achievements by prominent women in the history of computer science. The event was attended by 45 family members, out of which 19 were FIU Coding Clubs members. Three SCIS female students facilitated the event.

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Local middle/high school students learn about STEM at CEC Engineering Expo

On Friday, February 23, 2018, FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing hosted its 17th annual Engineering Expo. The event attracted over 1,500 students from Miami Dade County Public Schools and Broward County Public Schools, two local school districts. During the event, students were exposed to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and how they overlap in projects, experiments, and research applications. Visitors engaged with college students and faculty and learned that possibilities in STEM are endless. SCIS showcased an autonomous car-like robot that followed an algorithm to go around obstacles and provided visitors with a virtual reality experience in which the users created virtual whiteboards and wrote on them.

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Photo of participants at Bring your parent to code day.

Bring Your Parent to Code Day

Photo of participants at Bring your parent to code day.

Bring Your Parent to Code Day is a community event where participants of the FIU Coding Clubs share their coding abilities with parents and siblings. On Saturday, February 17, 2018, the event was held at FIU SCIS Tech Station. These are some interesting numbers about the event:

  • 45 family members attended the event.
  • 17 middle school girls who are members of the FIU Coding Clubs attended the event.
  • 5 FIU CS/IT majors, of which 4 are female and 1 is a female graduate student, facilitated learning.
  • 10 of 15 FIU Coding Club girls brought their fathers to the event and coded with them a replica of Galaga, a great arcade game from the 1980s. Research shows that when fathers promote the enjoyment of STEM subjects, integrate math into everyday life, and provide positive and challenging academic experiences to their daughters, it can lead girls to higher levels of STEM course-taking and career choices.

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Gulliver Prep School visit to Tech Station

Gulliver Prep School is a private co-educational school right here in Miami. The Computer Science department gave 7 outstanding students the opportunity to present their app at FIU SCIS. Graduate and Undergraduates students welcomed them to FIU and gave the students feedback on the apps in preparation for the Congressional App Challenge deadline.

Some topics were on services for Color Blindness, Natural Disasters, Allergies and Hearing Loss.  As part of their CS program, Gulliver students have implemented an online platform that not only provides assistance in the process of creating an app to their fellow students, but also to students globally.


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Photo of Volunteers helping at Code Fest 2017

CodeFest Miami 2017 at FIU

CodeFest Miami ( is a computer science education outreach program created in 2014 by FIU’s School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) with generous assistance from industry partners and the organizing team Cristy Charters, Mario Eraso, and Steve Luis. This year there were 117 elementary and middle school children that attended, and the 9 “little sisters” from SCIS Big Sisters/Little Sisters initiative.

At the start of the fall semester, 10 elementary/middle schools are visited weekly by 40 FIU CS/IT student mentors, who teach computer science principles and coding through an engaging curriculum designed to introduce 200 students to the computational skills that are essential in the 21 st century, but are currently missing from the K-5 and K-8 curriculum in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

SCIS, a partner, uses’s K-5 curriculum. After teaching the basics in computational thinking such as “What is an algorithm?”, “What is abstraction?”, “How to make functions?”, “What is a conditional statement?”, and “What is a loop?”, the FIU volunteers begin teaching Scratch to their group of students, showing how to apply many of the concepts that have been covered.

The culmination of this outreach is a half day event held during CS Education Week called CodeFest Miami hosted in FIU’s TechStation, an advanced CS/IT training facility. Volunteers, students, and special guests participate in a “hackathon styled” an activity where students with newly learned coding skills are challenged to solve an important societal a problem such as urban transportation, fighting disasters, using technology to help the sick and elderly.

Students must work as a team to brainstorm, design and code a Scratch program that demonstrates a narrative through animation, which realizes their solution to the challenge. FIU mentors circulate the floor of the event providing encouragement to the teams and answering coding questions.

The best teams are selected to present their Scratch creation to the rest of the teams, while a group of judges decides which Scratch creations meet the highest standards. The final teams receive recognition for their great work and the participants are encouraged to keep learning so they can apply computational thinking to solve any problem in the future.

The four winning team featured animations of conceptual devices to help the disabled improve their lives. Their ideas ranged from apps that help the blind send and receive text messages via speech-to-text functions to using technology to replace damaged nerves to improve movement. CodeFest Miami was also able to buy prizes for the four teams of 3 students each and to award the top 4 apps created by the middle and high school students from the community.

After CodeFest Miami is over, FIU students continue to mentor their group of elementary students on a weekly basis, to keep teaching them more advanced computer science topics, and apply them in different coding environments such as’s App Lab.


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Photo of FIU SCIS at Grace Hopper Confernece

SCIS at the 2017 Grace Hopper Conference

FIU SCIS invited 25 young ladies in IT and CS to attend the 2017 Grace Hopper Conference in Orlando, Florida. The girls attended all 3 days of the conference, starting each day with the keynote speeches by some of the most inspiring and leading women in technology, including Dr. Telle Whitney, the co-founder of the Grace Hopper Conference. The speakers presented their life stories, of how they got involved in Computer Science, some of them in spite of overwhelming odds against them. The overarching theme in all the speeches was the triumph of the human spirit, and the necessity to give back to the community in appreciation for one’s successes.

After the keynote speeches each day, the girls attended diverse sessions on current topics in CS such as Artificial Intelligence, IoT, Cybersecurity, Data Science, and more. Then, they attended the Career Fair at the conference, where they had a chance to talk with many recruiters and representatives of tech companies, including Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. In total, the 25 girls went on 50 interviews, and 5 of them got internship offers on the spot. Many more follow-up interviews also resulted.

Our FIU students expressed tremendous gratitude to SCIS for the privilege to have attended the Grace Hopper Conference, which made such a tremendous impact on all of them. They arrived at the conference shy, and a bit hesitant, but left the conference inspired, aware of the many opportunities awaiting them, and confident that they had a role to play in the world of Computer Science and the many fields that it affects. The conference was life-changing for all of them!


By Maria “Cristy” Charters, Instructor at SCIS.


Watch the video of WiCS Panel about their trip to the Grace Hopper Conference.

Find more photos and video check out our Twitter and Instagram page.

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Science without Borders Summer Program

Science without Borders Summer Program 2017

Dr. S. S. Iyengar, Jerry Miller and Ph.D. student Thejas Gubbi Sadashiva, a former Assistant Professor at Siddaganga Institute of Technology (SIT), brought five outstanding final year undergraduate students from the Dept. of Computer Science & Engineering at SIT to Florida International University (FIU) Discovery Lab for a two month summer research program. This was the one of the activity carried out under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between FIU and SIT.


Students working in summer Verizon program

Dr. Ross, SCIS Faculty, Encourages young Minority Males to pursue STEM through Verizon summer program

Students working in summer Verizon programThe Verizon Innovative Learning program is a popular summer program designed to encourage minority males in middle school to pursue studies in STEM disciplines operated this summer at two historically Black universities—Tennessee State University and Dillard University—and two Hispanic Serving Institutions—Florida International University (FIU) and California State University, Los Angeles.

Minority males in middle schools near these universities were recruited to participate in the program. Throughout the summer, the young men had the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the varying science, technology, engineering, and math fields by engaging in mobile app development, 3D design, and building flying drones.

“We built a curriculum around engineering habits of mind and were explicit in our connection to their everyday interests. It was our intent that with this exposure, engagement, and integration into a STEM community, they would choose to pursue a STEM field, and perhaps, choose FIU.

~ Dr. Monique Ross


Source: Verizon Program Encourages Minority Male Youngsters to Pursue STEM…

SCIS students work with Marino Campus Young adults with developmental disabilities and bond with peers over computers

The Marino Campus, had a 10-month post-secondary educational program to help young adults with autism or other developmental disabilities bridge the gap between high school and employment. Students, who range in age from 18 to 30, may participate in the program at two locations – FIU, or another one in Fort Lauderdale. They can pursue one of two tracks – hospitality or computer technology.

Students in the School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS), part of the College of Engineering & Computing, worked with the Marino Campus visitors to teach them how to assemble hardware, create websites, code and make cables.

“We’re helping the students gain independence at their own level, get a job, be happy and be part of a community, in general,

~ Michael Robinson, founder of the Hardware Lab, and instructor at SCIS.

Read more about Young adults with developmental disabilities bond with FIU peers over computers at FIU News.

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs Return to Miami

Girls who Code Summer Immersion Programs Return to FIU

Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs Return to Miami

Girls Who Code, the national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology, kicked off its 2017 Summer Immersion Program today in Miami in partnership with Citrix and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Florida International University and the Idea Center at Miami Dade College serve as program hosts in the region. The Summer Immersion Program began in 2012 in New York City, offering rising 11th and 12th-grade girls 300+ hours of immersive instruction in web development and design, robotics, and mobile development with mentorship and exposure to top female engineers and entrepreneurs. 2017 Summer Immersion Programs will reach 1600 rising 11th and 12th grade girls this summer across 80 programs in 11 cities, including: Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C. Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs will run in Miami this year from June 19 – August 4, 2017.


Click here to read more about Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Programs Return to Miami.


Read the Miami Herald article “Tech groups encourage kids to code — especially girls” to learn more about SCIS involvement with Girls Who Code and other kids tech education.


Citrix visits the Girls Who Code at SCIS

Citrix has sponsored Girls Who Code, a summer immersion program dedicated to teaching 19 female high school students about the fields of technology and engineering. We brought some of our brightest female Citrix engineers to meet up with Girls Who Code to share their advice and love for coding. Even Juan Rivera, VP of Cloud and Server Engineering shared his insight for being prepared for a career in technology.

Girls who Code at FIU SCIS club photo

Girls Who Code club inspiring the next generation of women in IT

The Girls Who Code club, a two-hour weekly meeting that occurs every Tuesday on FIU’s MMC TechStation. The program started during the Fall 2016 semester and now offers the second club this spring to middle school students.

Mario Eraso PortraitThe objective is to teach the girls coding, robotics, web and app development, and computational thinking such as abstraction, algorithms, and binary systems while also helping develop communication and teamwork skills in a safe and comfortable environment where the girls feel like they can be themselves.

“Based on teaching best practices, this course is about more than just teaching the girls to code, the STEM/internships coordinator at the School of Computing and Information Sciences. “It is about allowing them to build the necessary soft skills as well as the deep relationships that may further inspire them to pursue a career in computer science.”

~ Mario Eraso.

Mario Eraso helps coordinates the Girls Who Code Summer Immersive Program. This program is a seven-week program for 20 junior and senior high school girls. FIU will host its fourth summer intensive this year.

Read more about Coding, friendship inspire the next generation of woman in IT at FIU News.

Skill Court Highlighted at Miami Maker Faire | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Skill Court Highlighted at Miami Maker Faire

Kid kicking ball at skill courtThe Miami Maker Faire was held on April 8th and 9th at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus. At the event attended by thousands, FIU featured several exhibits including ICAVE VR experience, Hardware Lab, Coding Fun, and the very popular Soldering Workshop where over 300 attendees learned about electronics and soldering. The Miami Herald highlighted Skill Court is a Vertically Integrated Project lead by local entrepreneur Gudmundur “Gummi” Traustason. Skill Court is the product several College of Engineering and Computing students who have used the fitness tool to test software and hardware designs. The Skill Court team is also participating in Startup FIU’s cohort and will be presenting a pitch to investors on May 9th.

Read more about FIU’s involvement at the Miami Maker Faire:

FIU Girls Who Code Club Parents and Community Night | School of Computing and Information Sciences 1

FIU Girls Who Code Club Parents and Community Night

At the event, the FIU Girls Who Code (GWC) Club members presented on the lives of pioneering women in computer science, explained coding concepts to the audience and played their own game creations in Scratch. The Club is made up of middle school girls who meet once a week for two hours in Tech Station. Kierstin Matsuda, Club facilitator and SCIS student, is certified by the national Girls Who Code Club. GWC is a national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology, and has announced that it is expanding its free after school Clubs program to all 50 states this year, making it the largest computer science program for girls in the United States! GWC announced this milestone as part of the 2016 White House Summit on Computer Science for All. The organization will have reached a total of 40,000 girls across the country by the end of this academic year, more than tripling the size of their current footprint. The FIU GWC Club is sponsored by The Ultimate Software Academy for CS Education. Read more about GWC here:

MangoHacks 2017 Review | School of Computing and Information Sciences 6

MangoHacks 2017 Review

This past weekend SCIS hosted another great year of MangoHacks, a 36-hour hackathon that encourages learning, collaboration, growth, innovation, and fun. A hackathon is a creative coding and invention marathon. Students come together with an idea or a passion, get into teams, and build that idea into something tangible in 36 hours. At the end of the hackathon, the teams will show what they built to judges and other participants. A hackathon is an awesome place to push yourself, learn new skills, and meet amazing people.

This year there were a lot of awesome projects hacked together and they were shared through Facebook Live and Periscope. Which you can see below:


Here is a Photo Gallery of the weekend:

Read more on Hacking your way into the job market on FIU News

CodeFest 2016 Photos

CodeFest 2016

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week,’s “Hour of Code” initiative to introduce millions of young people to computer programming, and in partnership with Miami-Dade County Schools, FIU School of Computing and Information Sciences (SCIS) held CodeFest on Sunday, December 11th in FIU’s Tech Station.

This was a fun and exciting event will allow young people attending elementary through middle school an opportunity to experience coding by working in a team to develop a computer game or animation that solves our mystery challenge. Prizes were awarded and there was special guest appearance.

It was a community effort, to motivate 138 elementary and middle school students to use technology to make the world a better place!

Thanks to generous donors, including SCIS, Ultimate Software & the CS Academy for Teachers, UDT, and Google Ignite, who funded the food, prizes, and t-shirts.

Thanks also go to the many CS & IT students that participate in the elementary school outreach program each Wednesday, since they regularly teach many of the students that attended CodeFest, and then volunteered today by blowing up balloons, organizing students, and mentoring them during the competition.

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student organization group photo

Ultimate Software Academy for Computer Science Education @ FIU.



The Ultimate Software Academy for Computer Science Education inspires and cultivates the advancement of a community of K-12 teachers and students who continuously rediscover computing and apply its principles to creatively solve problems and engender innovation. We offer workshops for teachers and students, which include hands-on demonstrations of research by FIU computer science professors, problem-solving techniques, and game programming.

Continue reading Ultimate Software Academy for Computer Science Education @ FIU.

RET on Cyber-enabled technologies provides opportunities for teachers to work with faculty at FIU. | School of Computing and Information Sciences

RET on Cyber-enabled technologies provides opportunities for teachers to work with faculty at FIU.

Under the coherent theme of cyber-enabled technologies, the proposed site offers an effective research experience for teachers on state-of-the-art, high-quality research in fields such as social networks, cloud computing, privacy, and security. The new activities implemented in the schools during the academic year is expected to provide important insights for developing computational thinking competencies in schools to prepare students to join the 21st Century workforce.

Read more here:

Girls who code at FIU lab photo

Hispanic Heritage Foundation Loft STEM Leadership Symposium

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation Loft STEM Leadership Symposium was held at the FIU GC Ballroom with 200 Dade/Broward HS students in attendance. Panelist Dr. Leonardo Bobadilla, FIU SCIS Faculty, discussed his career preparation for working in the area of robotics. Students performed role-playing exercises to further grasp the seven Army values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage.

codefest wide photo

CodeFest Miami 2014 and the Hour of Code

CodeFest Miami 2014 and the Hour of Code — 100 elementary/middle/high schoolers attended a coding challenge session with prizes provided by local tech companies. Many attendees coded for the first time with the help of our CIS Students who mentored participants.


Miami Maker Faire outreach — FIU CIS Co-Produced the event. 4,000 attendees, targeted K-12 students, focus on robotics, electronics, and coding. | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Miami Maker Faire outreach — FIU CIS Co-Produced the event. 4,000 attendees, targeted K-12 students, focus on robotics, electronics, and coding.

The Miami Mini Maker Faire was held in Wynwood to the delight of almost 4,000 attendees and 100+ exhibitors. The Faire is held in creative communities around the world and is a celebration of imagination and innovation. FIU CIS co-produced the event that featured FIU student exhibits and workshops: Deon Wilkins and Fernando Campo presented the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles developed in the FIU Discovery Lab; Charleotte Farolan, Women in Computer Science President and WICS members hosted a day long soldering workshop where they taught hundreds of kids to assemble and solder a small robotic bug or a USB LED Flashlight; Diego Bracamonte worked with Microsoft to demonstrate 3D printing tools and integration; and Adam Manoussakis and members of the Miami Northwestern Bicycle Blenders demonstrated and distributed hundreds of human powered smoothies.

Continue reading Miami Maker Faire outreach — FIU CIS Co-Produced the event. 4,000 attendees, targeted K-12 students, focus on robotics, electronics, and coding.

Girls Who Code Miami Program Summer Cohort | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Girls Who Code Miami Program Summer Cohort

We hosted the Girls Who Code Miami Program Summer Cohort of 40 talented female High School students and taught students how to use APIs to develop a simple GIS application.

Read more at FIU News.

Coding Jam for Middle Schoolers | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Coding Jam for Middle Schoolers

Partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Google to present a Coding Jam for Middle Schoolers hosted by our school. 60 diverse students attended and experienced coding for the first time!


codefest wide photo

Hour of Code Challenge! CodeFest Miami Grand Finale

Florida International University School of Computing and Information Sciences, the Miami-Dade County Office of Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, LAB Miami, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami-Dade College, and the Beacon Council, inspired by, hosted “Code Fest Miami” during Computer Science Education Week, December 9-15, 2013., a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting computer science education, created a nationwide campaign calling on every K-12 student in America to participate in an “Hour of Code.” The initiative engaged schools, teachers, and parents across the country to help introduce more than 15 million students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week.

Continue reading Hour of Code Challenge! CodeFest Miami Grand Finale

Miami Maker Faire outreach — FIU CIS Co-Produced the event. 4,000 attendees, targeted K-12 students, focus on robotics, electronics, and coding. | School of Computing and Information Sciences

The Miami Maker Faire shows Miami’s growing Maker Movement

The Miami Maker Faire was held on Saturday, Nov. 16th, 2013 at the Lab Miami, located in the Wynwood Arts District of Downtown Miami. The Faire featured over 80 exhibits, presenters, and workshops and was attend by well over 1,000 people of all ages and interests. Maker Faires are known for their eclectic blending of arts and technology in celebrating innovation, creativity, and the Maker movement. Continue reading The Miami Maker Faire shows Miami’s growing Maker Movement

FIU Tapestry Workshop | School of Computing and Information Sciences

FIU Tapestry Workshop

The goals of the NSF funded high school instructor workshop to attract more and diverse students into your high school Computer Science classes by sharing strategies, research-based practices, and field-tested ideas for teaching computer science in a way that reaches all students regardless of sex or ethnicity.

FIU STEM Teachers Workshop


SCIS hosted the second annual FIU STEM Teachers Workshop in June 2013. The workshop, supported by a grant from Ultimate Software and attended by high school teachers from Broward and Miami-Dade counties, introduced computational thinking concepts, object-oriented visual programming skills and concepts, and basic Python programming skills. For more details, go here.

SCIS hosted the Computer Science for High School


SCIS hosted the Computer Science for High School, a Google sponsored, three-day hands-on workshop for High School educators to promote computer science and computational thinking in high school curriculum. Topics include Embedded Systems and Robotics, Raspberry Pi software development, and programming with Python.For more details, go here.

Coderdojo Pembroke Pines | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Coderdojo Pembroke Pines


Coderdojo Pembroke Pines, FIU sponsors Coderdojo, an international, coding club for kids. FIU students and staff volunteer their time to mentor students from 8-17 years of age in programming languages and robots like Scratch, Lego Mindstorms, and Sphero. The club meets twice a month at Broward County South West Regional Library and the Miami Science Museum. For more information, click here.

Miami Maker Faire outreach — FIU CIS Co-Produced the event. 4,000 attendees, targeted K-12 students, focus on robotics, electronics, and coding. | School of Computing and Information Sciences

National Robotics Week

miami-maker-fair-637x480We provide an open house to area K-12 students in the FIU Discovery Lab. Undergraduate students demoed their latest projects in a variety of areas such as embedded controllers, mobile apps, robotics, sensor networks, 3D printing and design tools. We featured our renowned Telebot project, a telepresence robot design to help disable veterans and police work again. Read more…

FIU Annual High School Programming Competition | School of Computing and Information Sciences

FIU Annual High School Programming Competition

FIU Annual High School Programming Competition hosted teams from schools throughout Florida. The competition is modeled after the ACM International Programming competitions- the team solving the most problems in the least amount of time with the fewest attempts wins! For more information, click here.


Engineering Expo Day | School of Computing and Information Sciences

Engineering Expo Day

engineering_expoOver 1,500 Miami-Dade and Broward elementary and middle school students visit our Engineering Center Campus where many participated in robotics demonstrations and activities provided by faculty and students of the FIU Discovery Lab.