We are pleased to announce the next Tech Student of the Month, Ramsey Khadder! Ramsey is a junior at Springbook High School in Silver Spring, Maryland and was a member of the Imagine Cup 2011 team, Team Audentia. Ramsey is also the co-creator of the fun and creative Windows Phone app called Dive! He is a passionate developer and it is our pleasure to highlight his story.
Ramsey comes from a family of engineers, where his late father’s work as an electronic engineer provides his source of inspiration. In efforts to follow in his family’s footsteps, he is currently attending Springbrook High School which is an IB World and Information Technology school. Springbrook High School is very unique in the fact that all students are offered programs through their Academy of Information Technology (computer programming, computer network design and administration, web design, and microcomputer technologies. It was also the first high school to participate in a Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition in 2010!
Ramsey began learning the fundamentals of programming in ninth grade by working with Java. Every project thereafter, he strived to surpass the requirements of the rubric in order to learn more about the subject and further develop his skills. For example, he knew he would have to learn XNA, a framework for C#, so he went out and bought an Xbox to teach himself how to program the language. Although it was a challenge to jump head-first into a language like XNA, he learned through trial and error and even received the CompTIA A+ Certification amidst his self-training.
Throughout his time at Springbrook High, Ramsey took many programming taught by Microsoft Teacher Partner, Pat Yongpradit. Pat, also known as “Mr. Y,” was the recipient of the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Educator Award in 2010 and a pioneering teacher in his field. Just this week, Mr. Yongpradit sat down with Tom Brokaw at the 2011 Education Nation Summit (You can see the NBC video here). Mr. Y nominated Ramsey to be September’s Tech Student of the Month because of his strong initiatives inside and outside of the classroom and of course, his passion for technology. Mr. Y has worked closely with Ramsey throughout his high school career and has mentored him in his endeavors as a computer programmer as well as a mobile developer.
In Ramsey’s sophomore year, Mr. Y introduced him to the Windows Phone platform by taking him to the Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch. Ramsey became interested in exploring the platform and with the help of Alfred Thompson, a Microsoft Academic Developer Evangelist, he was able to acquire two Windows Phone loaner phones to begin his development. He and his friend Jacen Sherman (winner of the KoduKup) planned, coded, and published their first Windows Phone game, Dive! which has seen great success in the Marketplace. The game allows you to be a scuba diver from the Caribbean where you collect coins while under the sea. When they finished Dive!, Mr. Y took Ramsey and four other students to the Maryland Education Enterprise Consortium (MEEC) where he was able to present Dive! and share his experiences developing the application.
In the same year, Ramsey was asked to join Team Audentia for the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition, a global competition focused on finding solutions to real-life problems. He and his team created a platformer game called Vanguard that increased awareness about pollution. Ramsey had an amazing experience during the Imagine Cup. He learned to work as a team with different members of different skillsets to contribute to a final product. He also enjoyed using technology for a greater purpose other than just entertainment. Already, Ramsey has a team and idea setup for Imagine Cup 2012. We wish them the best of luck!
While Ramsey is working on his own Imagine Cup project, he is also helping his classmates with their games using a game engine he created. RSK.exe provides an easier platform to learn how to program using the XNA programming language. The students in Springbrook’s Computer Programming – Level 3 class are currently using the game engine and Ramsey helps tutor the class to help them use the application.
Ramsey is now exploring different areas of computer science. He is currently enrolled in a web design class and is learning the ropes of Microsoft Expression Web, a tool to build standards-based Web sites. Mr. Y is also planning to introduce his class to motion based development using the Kinect SDK. In regards to future plans, he has his heart set on attending Stanford University after he graduates because of its strong computer engineering program. We wish him the very best of luck and hope he continues to strive for excellence in everything that he does.
You can follow Ramsey and learn more on his website: RSKWare