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Clarkson University Professor & Students "Teach your Mom to Code" at Potsdam Public Library

A Clarkson University computer science professor and three students recently conducted an Hour of Code event at the Potsdam Library in celebration of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek).

Clarkson University Clarkson School student Amanda Horne helps a new programmer figure out a puzzle during the Hour of Code event at the Potsdam Public Library (photo by Jeanna Matthews).The "Teach Your Mom to Code" program was organized in conjunction with librarian Sarah Sachs and welcomed children to bring an adult with them to learn how to program computers.

Associate Professor of Computer Science Jeanna Matthews and computer science majors Amanda Horne '20 of East Greenbush, N.Y., Hunter Bashaw '20 of Fort Covington, N.Y., and Thomas Withiam '20 of Trumansburg, N.Y., taught the class as part of the new igniteCS program funded by Google.

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Yaoqing Liu and Matthews, along with student leaders Benjamin Lannon '18 of East Syracuse, N.Y., and Ryan Burnham '19 of Fairport, N.Y., submitted a program application for $10,000 in funding from Google that was approved this fall.

In the spring, students funded through igniteCS will continue to reach out to students in the North Country through a variety of programs, including Project Challenge, Clarkson's unique academic program for North Country high-school students with a choice of five-week courses.

Liu, Matthews and students involved in the igniteCS program will offer a Project Challenge course titled "Tasty Computing with Raspberry Pis" that will introduce participants to programming with Python and working with small devices called Raspberry Pis. Matthews has offered courses in Project Challenge for 11 years.

This is the third year in a row that Matthews has helped to organize an Hour of Code event in the North Country. In 2014, she and students from Clarkson's International Student Association offered an Hour of Code event at the Potsdam Public Library during National Engineers Week. In 2015, Matthews offered training to local librarians when events were offered simultaneously in Massena, Potsdam, Waddington and Norwood.

The Clarkson team hopes to offer more Hour of Code events at local libraries and schools this spring. Libraries and schools can contact them for more information at

Clarkson University educates the leaders of the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as an owner, CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. With its main campus located in Potsdam, N.Y., and additional graduate program and research facilities in the Capital Region and Beacon, New York, Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university with signature areas of academic excellence and research directed toward the world's pressing issues. Through more than 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, education, sciences and the health professions, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and innovation with enterprise.

Photo caption: Clarkson University Clarkson School student Amanda Horne helps a new programmer figure out a puzzle during the Hour of Code event at the Potsdam Public Library (photo by Jeanna Matthews).

[A photograph for media use is available at]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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