South Orangetown Central School District

Developing a universal musical instrument tuning Alexa skill to discovering the process for creating a video game from scratch were among the projects shared in a series of Computer Science Capstone TED Talk-style presentations last week in the Tappan Zee High School Library.

The projects are the culmination of independent work completed by advanced computer science students throughout the school year. Teacher Karen Connell invited mentors, including Library Media Specialist Patty Eyer, to provide students with suggestions for making their presentations engaging and accessible for their audience.

Peter Wu demoed his software project which graphically represents the behavior of autonomous agents, with a firefly synchronization simulation. “It allows us to observe small things around us and build technologies that can make complex decisions autonomously.”

Connell incorporated the TED Talk format to help students–particularly those planning to enter technical fields–hone effective communication skills. “The Capstone class offers students opportunities to learn about new technologies through research, training, mentorship and presentations,” she explained. “Some students chose to learn about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence or robotics, and others launched their personal innovative business. Creating a TED-style presentation gave each student a chance to tell their story and to pitch their idea to others. Congratulations to all of the participants!”

Student presents computer science project