The STEAM Signature Program in Shorecrest Upper School allows students to pursue STEAM-related coursework and apply 21st Century skills that are applicable across many disciplines while investigating a specialized area of interest. Shorecrest STEAM student, Carson Granese ‘25, has selected Computer Science as his area of study. In many ways he is learning that computer science is not just about writing code, it is about how we use such tools and what we learn when we do.
Carson recently utilized his skills to build a website to support his brother’s baseball team. The travel baseball 12U team, The Miracles, wanted to raise funds to play at Cooperstown All Star Village, a baseball summer tournament for kids located in New York on major league style baseball fields. There they have the opportunity to play competitive teams from across the country and around the world.
It just so happens the team coach for The Miracles is Coach Persails, Carson’s Shorecrest Chargers baseball coach. When he heard the fundraising ideas being tossed around by the team and their parents to offset the cost of traveling to Cooperstown, Carson had an idea.
“I had heard of Million Dollar Homepage. You can buy an area and put an advertisement on it. I kind of based the Miracles website
off of that and adjusted it to be a fundraiser. I built the webpage to help Coach out and help the players because they can't go unless they raise money.”
Carson now has a taste of how it feels to have his solo work seen by others and watch how they respond to it.
“I’ve gotten pretty positive feedback. Some of the families are happy that I’m doing it. Generally people are interested in buying and helping. The site will be live until June.”
Carson started block-based programming, such as Scratch
, in Lower School. He has loved LEGOs since he was 3 years old, and he was interested in programming when he started Middle School, so the Middle School LEGO® robotics team seemed like a “great combination.”
“I really got into programming in Middle School when I was on the LEGO® robotics team. It was really fun. It takes a lot of cooperation - understanding how other people are thinking about completing certain tasks, and your own thoughts. You have to take everyone’s ideas and either combine them into a great idea, or if someone has an overly good idea just use theirs and understand that someone has a better idea than you.”
While Carson was in Middle School, the robotics team was very successful. They earned their way to the state tournament three times. After their performance in the State of Florida tournament in 2021, they were invited to represent the Region at the FLL Virtual Open International Greece Tournament
Now that Carson is in Upper School, he has had to adjust from LEGO robotics to Vex robotics. This year there are two Upper School teams; the one Carson is on is all ninth graders, 5 of whom participated in robotics last year. The other team recently earned a place at Regionals.
“We went from LEGOs to actual metal and screws and bolts. For some of the tournaments we did pretty well. We had more basic designs than the other teams but I think we did pretty well for a rookie team year.”
In addition to learning new programming languages from books, Carson is taking Introduction to Game Design this semester as a requirement towards his Computer Science STEAM certificate
“This year I’m taking Python as a class with Ms. Estremera. It’s fun,” he insists. “We’re learning how to code different games. Today we started to make Pac-Man.”