A New Emphasis on Computer Science

By Ashok Khare

Computer Science, I have felt in the past, has always gotten less attention than it needs and deserves.

Thankfully, an expansive and inclusive high school activity gives the programmers of OES the chance they need to learn and practice essential skills that they can use in the outside world.

High school math teacher Lauren Shareshian, along with fellow teachers Chad Gilton and Gowri Meda, has masterminded a tri-faceted programming activity. This unique activity is split into three parts for the three trimesters — Shareshian teaches programming in Python for the first trimester, Gilton teaches Java for the second, and Meda teaches Scratch for the final trimester. The activity, previously for girls only, has expanded for girls and boys. “Everyone is welcome now,” says Shareshian.

Students use a website called Grok, which is available for $30. Grok allows people to learn programming at their own pace, which is a good quality if your goal is to cater to everyone. “We want students to learn a lot about programming,” Shareshian explains. This activity also serves as a great opportunity for students who aren’t sure about taking advanced technology classes, such as AP computer science, figure out if programming is really an interest. “This activity is part of the school’s initiative to have more opportunities for learning computer science. The school plans to have at least one computer science activity per trimester,” Lauren adds. 

Shareshian, Chad, and Gowri’s activity is a great example of OES’ technological growth over the past few years, and is a wonderful opportunity for high school programmers to learn or practice the skills that they can use for the rest of their lives.

One thought on “A New Emphasis on Computer Science

  1. Thanks for this article, Ashok! I’d like to say a little about my Java activity for the winter. My goal is to allow students to learn a little about the programming language Java to decide whether or not they’d like to take AP Computer Science for their math elective. Instead of Grok I am thinking of using a site called Greenfoot that teaches Java by asking students to design a graphics based game. I hope it is a fun way to learn Java.

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