CSSE Class Programs New Life at SPS

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Screen shots of various games recently created by the CSSE class.

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(COVINGTON,La.) The Engineering Program at St. Paul’s has grown substantially throughout the recent years. One of the newest of these classes is the Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSSE) course, which was added to help students expand their knowledge regarding engineering career opportunities.

According to the Department of Labor “Employment of software developers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The main reason for the rapid growth is a large increase in the demand for computer software.”

According to CSSE Teacher Rachel Peak, CSSE as a class stands alone and is meant to be an introductory course. Some math skills and logic in programming are expected. The only thing that is required is to have already taken geometry.

“The class isn’t just about gaming; it is meant to be an overview class that includes fun projects such as game creation and app development, but also teaches Python, HTML and dives into database work with SQL. It’s really been a fun class so far, and we are barely into the second quarter,” Peak said.

“So far, we have create games using a program developed by MIT called ‘Scratch.’  The games the students developed were on par with early Atari or Nintendo games,” said Peak. The class is also using a program called “App Inventor” to create Android apps. While Android has already authorized the CSSE class to make apps, Apple is giving them more trouble, but the class presses on and hopes to have authorization fro Apple soon, since the majority of SPS students are iPhone users.

According to Peak, the class has already created seven games with a wide variety topics, from “Brother Ken Saves the World” to “Epic Arnie vs. The Rock.”

In the game “Brother Ken Saves the World,” Religion Teacher Bro. Ken Boesh, FSC, tries to eliminate the fast food competitor Wendy’s by hurling Sonic burgers at other fast food restaurants.

“It is almost like Space Invaders. Brother Ken is hurling Sonic things at other fast food restaurants,” said Assistant Principal Joe Dickens, who has been extremely impressed by what the class has accomplished in such a short time.

“Demon Penguin Attack” features Mario, from the popular Mario Brothers games, fighting off evil penguins with fire balls.

“Epic Arnie vs. The Rock” pits Arnold Schwarzenegger against Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in a 1- or 2-player game. Complete with sound effects, characters throw protein powder and WWE Championship belts at each other against a background of Gold’s Gym.

“The Fishing Game” tests the player’s accuracy and speed as players try to catch fish and avoid sharks and divers.

“Octopuses & Oranges” can be played as a 1- or 2-player game. Each octopus tries to grab an orange and place it in his goal before the other octopus steals it.

“Space Adventure” is a Galactica-style game with a soundtrack and sound effects, where the player can select different spaceships with different firing styles and abilities.

“The Game”  is an Asteroids-style game where the spaceship’s motion and firing are controlled by the mouse. There are some tricky dive-bombing enemies in this game.

CSSE student junior Matthew Melancon said that he took the class because he wants to be an engineer and wants a basic knowledge of programing.

Peak, CSSE students, and the administration all look forward to the class’ next creations. Once apps have been created, announcements will be made to the student body regarding the release. According to Peak, one app on the horizon is a Paper Wolf app to alert users of new articles as they post.

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