Tech in the News: Contest merges music, coding to lure students to computer science

Brian Magerko

Posted December 17, 2019

External Article: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

EarSketch, a computer program created by School of Literature, Media, and Communication professor Brian Magerko with School of Music professor Jason Freeman, was mentioned in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Dec. 17, 2019.

EarSketch is a free-to-use program that teaches students the programming languages Python and JavaScript in the context of creating and manipulating songs in a "digital audio workstation." It is used by more than 375,000 students and instructors in 50 states and more than 100 different countries.

The program got some celebrity exposure recently when star R&B singer Ciara came to Paul Duke STEM High School in Norcross to speak to students and listen to remixes of her songs that students created in EarSketch. Students could submit their creations for the Ciara Remix Competition, run by Amazon and Georgia Tech.

Excerpt:

Using Georgia Tech’s learn-to-code-through-music platform, EarSketch, high school students have the opportunity to win prizes by composing an original remix featuring the song “SET” from Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter Ciara. The competition is intended to get young people excited about computer science and coding.

High school students across the country can enter the competition through Jan. 20.

“I always get students who come in and say they don’t know anything about programming and they may be a little intimidated at first,” said Philip Peavey, digital technology teacher at Paul Duke. “But once they get going they realize that it’s something they can do … it opens their eyes to career possibilities that they maybe hadn’t thought of before.”

Read the full article here.