Computer Science is a new elective taught by beloved San Marcos teacher Ms. Fikes. The objective of this course is to prepare students for jobs and life by strengthening computer skills.
“What is a computer?” was the first question that Ms. Fikes asked her students within the first few minutes of the new class. She challenged them to consider that computers are not merely laptops and desktops but other things we use day to day as well, such as phones, watches, calculators, and other devices. Every day students begin class with a relevant question to get their brains active, then launch into a discussion about a plethora of ideas, like artificial intelligence or binary code.
The topics this class covers include human and computer interaction, problem solving, web design, programming, and computing and data analysis.This class is beneficial for students who are not already programming experts and who are eager to learn the underlying principles of computers.
“Computer Science is an interesting and applicable class,” said junior Maddie Sorensen. “Right now we are learning how to code and create our own websites with Code Academy, which are skills that will build strong resumes and help us find successful jobs when we are older.”
Not only does this class build useful job and life skills, but it also tackles a greater social issue of the lack of diversity in computer careers. The false stereotype that women lack interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) career paths or that they do not measure up intellectually continues to be a problem.
“It is important we get a diversity of people interested in computers because right now it is a very white male dominated study, when it is necessary for people of all backgrounds to gain and practice these skills,” said Ms. Fikes.
Junior Maddie Sorensen pointed out that there are only four girls in the class of 31 people, and she and Ms. Fikes would strongly encourage more girls and people of different backgrounds to try this class out.
The idea for this class came about when teachers began to realize the necessity of students learning the basic concepts of how computers work and how they can be utilized for success.
“We are even hoping to offer an online AP Computer Science class next spring,” said Ms. Fikes.
Computers are evolving and shaping society, so try something new next semester and sign up for the new Computer Science elective.