Today we went to High Point Christian Academy for a classroom visit!
Today we started in High Point, North Carolina. We were invited to visit High Point Christian Academy, where Paige Daniels teaches a computer science class with CodeHS. The class and school greeted us with a warm welcome.
We spoke to some students over lunch who are considering taking a computer science course.
We spend most of the time at the school visiting the classroom using CodeHS. We did a student presentation, discussion, and spent some time doing some coding on their final projects. Students had built some pretty impressive helicopter games on CodeHS, so we got to see a number of demos.
This is the first year the High Point Christian Academy has offered a computer science class. In speaking with the students, we found out most of them had never done any coding before this class. And in surveying the students near the end of the class, we discovered that almost every single student wanted to take another computer science class, and many students are interested or planning to study computer science in college.
Exposure is Key
I think this highlights a key component about computer science education, which is that exposure is key. The first step to giving students the opportunity is to actually offer the class at the school. Many schools suffer a Catch-22 when they talk about computer science enrollment. They say that they don’t have enough students to justify the class so they don’t have the class. But they don’t have the class so the students don’t know they can take it or be interested in it, so there couldn’t possibly be that enrollment.
In speaking with students at lunch we found most of the other students didn’t really know what coding is or what it is used for. But when I talked more to the students who are in the computer science class — we found that they had similar sentiments before the class, but now they found the class to be really fun and exciting and are glad that they took it.
It’s a big deal to bring in a entire computer science program in one year, and Paige Daniels has done that at her school. We’re glad to help make that happen at CodeHS.