By Karyn Volstad, Computer Science Department Chair

Computer science is such an integral part of everyone’s lives now that it is not just for geeks. Our primary goal is to introduce all students to programming and computer science so that they can participate more fully in the technology of today.

The new Computer Science Department currently offers three courses, and we have about 200 students enrolled this year.

  1. Mobile Apps Design: This course uses the web application App Inventor to create apps for Android mobile devices. The course takes a hands-on approach to learning; students will create an app the first week of class. Students in the course will experience a fun and engaging way to enter the world of computer programming.
  2. Computer Science (Intro): Berkeley, Harvard, and other universities offer classes in computer science for non-majors, because everyone needs some comprehension of computer science these days. Our Intro is similar to these courses: it begins with SNAP block programming to introduce programming structures. Students who enjoy this class are prepared to take the AP.
  3. AP Computer Science: Since this is an AP class, our curriculum is already established for us. Students learn object-oriented computer science concepts through programming in Java. This class is equivalent to a first semester intro class at a university.

As the Computer Science Department expands, possible courses to be added include Web Programming and Data Structures (post-AP). Students are also very interested in mobile apps programming using Java or Swift.

When students take our classes and get excited about computer science, they are ready to pursue it after high school. That’s the big idea.