In late February 2020, organizers of the Data+, Code+, and CS+ summer programs began to discuss the possibility that the in-person structure of the program may not be possible in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next couple of months, it became clear an in-person student experience would not be possible this summer. However, these three programs decided they could still provide an enriching summer experience for students. With over 180 students in all three programs, these summer experiences became the first 100% virtual educational experiences offered at Duke since the pandemic shut down many in-person events and activities.
Working together, Data+, Code+, and CS+ organizers adapted their in-person summer experiences into a collaborative virtual summer program for students interested in expanding their skills in big data, mobile app and web development, and computer science. Each program’s 10-week co-curricular summer program provides students with invaluable experience working with professionals in their industries as well as Duke faculty and staff to produce results or products that address a question or solve a real world issue. Utilizing online tools such as Zoom for large workshops and presentations, and Slack and Microsoft teams for team collaboration, students continued to work in small project teams over the summer with great success.
The Data+, Code+, and CS+ undergraduate summer programs held an online expo to showcase student projects leveraging big data, mobile app and web development, and computer science on July 30 and 31. Over fifty student presentations took place over two days, describing their work this summer.