Gulliver Prep junior Sebastian Bartlett is a computer programing whiz and he doesn’t mind using his expertise to help non-profit organizations.
This year he has worked with friends to develop an app for Special Olympics. The intention of is to give Special Olympians a social networking site akin to Facebook. “It would be more of an internal network so they don’t have to worry about strangers adding them and other problems that might arise,” Bartlett says.
The app would be for android-based phones with plans to broaden the scope. “It will be for all android,” he says. “We started last year with myself and a friend of mine. At the time there are only two people.”
Bartlett’s friend moved on to college so the group has evolved to include two additional friends, Schuyler Reinken and Faraz Masroor. Earlier in the school year, Bartlett was working on the framework. He hopes to have the app ready for use no later than the end of the school year. “We’re shooting for January, February or March for the first version,” he says. “Later versions will have more features and more streamlined.”
Like most computer geniuses, Bartlett didn’t wait for someone to teach him how to program.
“I taught myself the summer I entered before I entered Gulliver,” he says.
When he arrived at Gulliver, he talked to the computer teacher who let him skip the C ++ class and put him into the Introduction to Java class instead. His sophomore year he took the Advanced Placement Computer Science class and scored a five on the test.
“I have gone past the school’s computer science class,” he says.
Bartlett is also working on a multi-player, two-dimensional shooter game called Color Wars.
“It’s akin to how Pac Man worked,” he says. “It has some retro-style sound effects and graphics. It’s like a maze game. It’s written in Lua (a programing language).”
Along with those two graphics, Bartlett keeps busy by helping tutor computer students.
He also tutors in math. “Our calculus teacher encourages people to tutor in math,” he says. “We go into classrooms that are in lower level of math.”
Bartlett sits on the Gulliver Preparatory Academic Council.
“Essentially we are members who sit with students who have been accused of academic dishonesty,” he says.
The students meet with the accused student to find out what happened. From that meeting they submit a recommendation to the administration to help decide how to proceed.
Bartlett says if a teacher suspects academic dishonesty they write a report. That is sent on to a council of teachers to decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed. If there is, the student is sent on to the council so the council can hear their side of the story.
The council can give a number of recommendations, ranging from a warning to a dismissal.
“The first strike stays in the record for the school,” Bartlett says. “The second strike, the colleges you apply to are notified.”
Although still young, Bartlett has lived in a number of places. His father is a documentary film producer and his mother helped start CNN in Español. She was also the ambassador from Bolivia to the U.S.
He’s looking at numerous colleges to attend when he graduates from high school. His ideal school is MIT, but he is also considering Carnegie Mellon, Harvard and several good engineering schools. He wants to be an independent game developer.
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