Let's combat global warming

Global warming is a big problem. Here is how it affects the Earth and people. Do you think it is a big problem?

Why is climate change happening? One of the reasons for the greenhouse effect is coal being burned. Another reason is chemical gases getting trapped in the atmosphere, heating Earth up. Also, when people burn fossil fuels to make electricity, the chemicals and heat get trapped in the atmosphere. All of the debris at once is too hard for the atmosphere to push out. It is like giving you years’ worth of homework all at once.

Listen to other voices


Courtesy of Stacey Walter
Bullis Charter School students, from left, Ariya Kaushek, Ava Li, Maia Fernandez (front), Mia Monsalve and Nyla Hayhoe celebrate their differences.

When Mia came to Bullis Charter School as a new student in fourth grade, she received a lot of questions from other students about her hearing aid. After speaking with her parents and teacher, Mia decided to gather a group of kids that also have differences to develop a presentation in which we could share our challenges and create awareness and understanding in our school community.

We quickly volunteered to help. Ariya has a nut allergy and has to sit at a nut-free table at lunch. Nyla is from England, and she’s afraid of people making fun of her British accent. Ava moved to the U.S. from China in second grade and she wears glasses.

CENG impacts community through free coding classes

By Isabella Borkovic and Nathaniel Latif

Being a minority in Silicon Valley comes with limited opportunities and several obstacles, and this past year, the Computer Engineers of the Next Generation (CENG) club at Los Altos High School has taken on several projects to help empower young, underprivileged minorities in our community.

This year, we ran two classes concurrently during our sessions, which allowed us to provide more free coding classes at Santa Rita and Monta Loma elementary schools as well as expand our class offerings to include Scratch, JavaScript and Python.

To provide more effective teaching, we implemented the Junior Mentor program. The Junior Mentor program takes star students from previous classes and designates them in classrooms, but in a different role than before. Instead of learning from us, a Junior Mentor’s role is to help his or her fellow students and assist us with teaching the courses.

Alongside the Junior Mentor program, we have set up the Inspire program, where we create videos to show at the Parent Showcase at the end of every class. To create the video, we interview underrepresented minority engineers and ask them how they overcame the toughest obstacles they have faced in their career. We hope that these programs can inspire our students to pursue the path of computer science despite the difficulties they may face in the future.

Since the inception of CENG in 2016, we have taught 214 students and volunteered 1,411 hours. The economic value of the coding classes is more than $75,000. AI4ALL has recognized our community impact; we are the recipient of the AI4ALL Community Impact Grant of $1,000. This allowed us to offer two concurrent classes at Santa Rita and Monta Loma in winter and spring.

The CENG journey is not over yet. We will continue this path of inspiring a whole new generation to take command of the computer science field. To reach a larger audience and encourage past students to continue learning computer science, we have expanded our online presence. Recently, we put up our new, full, seven-lesson online Scratch course, which officially kicks off the CENG Online Coding Academy, an endeavor we are very excited about.

So far, we have created online classes only for Scratch, but we will add curriculum for JavaScript and Python over the summer.

For more information, visit cengclass.org.

Isabella Borkovic is CENG’s treasurer and Nathaniel Latif the club’s vice president of web development. Both students attend Los Altos High School.


Courtesy of Alice Lee
CENG club members offer free coding classes to underserved students.

CENG teaches local students coding

Being a minority in Silicon Valley comes with limited opportunities and several obstacles, and this past year, the Computer Engineers of the Next Generation (CENG) club at Los Altos High School has taken on several projects to help empower young, underprivileged minorities in our community.

This year, we ran two classes concurrently during our sessions, which allowed us to provide more free coding classes at Santa Rita and Monta Loma elementary schools as well as expand our class offerings to include Scratch, JavaScript and Python.

Creating environmental app at Los Altos Hacks III event

Los Altos Hacks III, a 24-hour event, took place March 24-25 at the Juniper Aspiration Dome in Sunnyvale. More than 350 high school students from around the nation came together to build a product using hardware and/or software. This was my first hackathon, which was way bigger than I anticipated.

Why I love humanities

Let me be completely honest: STEM is something I can appreciate, but it’s not really for me.

I enjoy calculus and physics – they are interesting concepts and topics for me – and I appreciate C++ and Java. But they don’t give me the same satisfaction or joy as history or English. Reading about the Compromise of 1850 intrigues me far more than limits in math, though that does not mean I don’t enjoy finding limits.


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