CCI Students Continue K-12 Outreach at Local Middle and High Schools

Students in the Spring 2019 IT Leadership class have been busy engaging the future IT workforce of Florida, talking about Information Technology (IT), Information Communication & Technology (ICT), STEM careers, and the College of Communication & Information. Each semester, students partner with various schools to offer support, training, and career advice to Leon schools. This Spring, students from the School of Information IT Leadership Class dedicated four of their projects to K-12 Outreach at local middle and high schools.

Middle School Outreach

Mikayla Owen, junior IT student and co-leader of the Middle School Outreach project said, “I’ve really enjoyed working with middle school students. It makes me happy to see how interested and engaged they are in the topics, and to see the schools incorporating STEM topics early in their classes now.” During the teams four visits to the School of Arts and Sciences, they did activities revolved around pseudo code and identifying similarities between their pseudo code and an example of code in C++. The IT students also taught binary and helped them create bracelets with the 1s and 0s pattern to match their initials. Mikayla was assisted by co-leader Devin Cannata, and members Cristina Cuartero, Gabriel Gomez, Alex Moerschbacher, Joey Rittenhouse, and Hayden Ariotti.

High School Outreach

Similar to the Middle School Outreach project, a group of students dedicated their time to High School Outreach. While visiting Amos B. Godby High School and SAIL High School, the group engaged students in pseudocode activities and provided unbiased information about college and degrees and opportunities in STEM. Co-leader of High School Outreach, Elie Emile said, “Having the opportunity to visit high schools and mentor students was a very rewarding experience. I was never afforded such an opportunity during my years in high school. I’m thankful to be able to give back to the Tallahassee community in this capacity, and potentially inspire these kids to continue to pursue an education after high school.” Elie was joined by co-leader Rhiannon Jacobson and members Bridget Kabacinski, Dauvd Dautbasic, Mikayla Owen, and Joey Rittenhouse during their visits.


The NIMS project (at R. Frank Nims Middle School) was started in the spring of 2018 by Melissa Davis, who is now in her second year of her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering. This spring, the NIMS project ran for seven weeks and focused on creating simple robots with Arduinos. The curriculum combined an introduction to programming and circuitry skills. Davis said, “I was very proud of the work the students did throughout the program. I felt like we hit a stride as a group and they were able to accomplish and learn a lot within those 7 weeks.” The IT Leadership class support Melissa in her efforts led by John Michel and Emily Astraw, the co-leaders for this project, and members Rhiannon Jacobson, Ali Pearson, Sayvion Mayfield, and Reggi Nelson, who all helped Melissa in assisting the students with their projects.  The project was extended for three weeks as the group conducted a 3D workshop and training.


Leadership students traveled to Gulf Breeze High School talking to technology career courses.  With 8 combined classes, the students answered questions form over 200 high school students about college, SATs, IB Programs, dual enrollment, dorm life, majors, transitioning to college, and career options. The group included Thomas Haire, Robel Daniel, Bridget Kabacinski, Rhiannon Jacobson, Davud Dautbasic, and Cristina Cuartero. For freshman Cristina this was her first outreach event; she said that “visiting students was a rewarding experience for me since I was in their seats a year earlier; I wish that we had more college students come speak to me when I was making decisions in high school.”