Lots more school visits around Milwaukee today!
Today we started off with a presentation to teachers at the Milwaukee School of Languages. We came in in the morning and presented to a handful of teachers across subjects. None taught computer science (since the school does not offer the class), but were all interested to learn more. In the presentation we talked about what computer science is, the issues surrounding equity and access in computer science, and opportunities for students in computer science.
As I was leaving, one of the teachers told me a story about a student from their school. There was a student who was a chess master. I believe he mentioned that there were even fewer chess masters in Wisconsin than AP CS test-takers. And now this student of his, many years later is “pushing a broom.” Chess, which takes a keen problem solving ability as well, did not connect to great opportunities afterwards. Computer science, we discussed, had similar problem solving requirements but had a high demand skillset too. There wasn’t really a conclusion to this discussion, rather an agreement that access to computing opportunities early on can be life-changing.
Our next stop was Tenor High School, a charter school in the area where we got to run a workshop and meet with teachers and administrators. They have an engineering program but also want to build out a computer science program. We did some coding, fielded questions from students, and had a good visist.
Our next and last Milwaukee Visit was Bradley Tech High School. We were in touch with a computer science teacher there and got to visit the class. It was a small class, and we ran a coding workshop.