SIUE computer science student Eli Ball assists high school participants at the WeCode event. EDWARDSVILLE - More than 30 high school students from across the region developed their own computer program during the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Engineering’s (SOE) WeCode event on Saturday, April 21.

Hosted by the SOE Department of Computer Science, participants from Edwardsville, Greenfield, Alton, Jerseyville, Waterloo, O’Fallon, Carrollton, Belleville and more learned computer programming through collaborative problem solving and building. About half of the students had never programmed before.

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To create their computer program, they used Snap, an online programming environment hosted by the University of California Berkeley. Snap is used in some computer science AP courses and college courses.

“Computer science is a growing field with an increasing variety of career opportunities,” said Dennis Bouvier, PhD, associate professor of computer science. “We were glad to offer these high school students a chance to engage in a programming project while receiving mentorship from SIUE students.”

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“Our participants created some wonderful applications during our WeCode event, and I think we succeeded in giving them the tools to continue learning programming on their own.”

Bouvier, and SIUE computer science students Eli Ball, Meg Heisler, Taylor Dowdy, Jared Schooley and Justin Bruce, assisted participants during the event.

Event sponsors included Centene Corporation, AT&T, NiSC, OCI, Enterprise Holdings, T-REX, BJ’s Printables and SIUE.

For more information on SIUE’s computer science program, visit

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

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