Danny Ramirez wants to use what he learns in AP computer science principles when he goes on to college. (Courtesy Central Catholic)
Danny Ramirez wants to use what he learns in AP computer science principles when he goes on to college. (Courtesy Central Catholic)
“We are going to start this class by thinking about how computer science touches all of our lives,” instructor Alison Anderson says to a full computer lab at Central Catholic High School.

In her second year at the school, Anderson is teaching a new course: AP computer science principles. The class was so popular that an additional section had to be opened up. Almost 60 sophomores, juniors and seniors are enrolled.

Junior Danny Ramirez says he signed up because he wants to major in robotics in college. This year he is hoping to improve his ability to code and learn about how data is transferred. Senior Olivia Anderson says she learned some coding at Cathedral School and is excited to build on that knowledge.

AP computer science principles is designed for students who are new to computer science and covers topics like the internet, big data and privacy, programming and algorithms.

“This is an amazing opportunity,” says John Garrow, principal of Central Catholic. “The combination of practical application, critical thinking and problem-solving makes this course an excellent addition to our STEM course offerings.”

Students will pick a form of digital technology that fascinates them and research it. They will report on the potential the technology has to affect the world. Later on in the year, they will design and create an app that demonstrates the use of algorithms and abstraction and also has a meaningful purpose.

“All students deserve the opportunity to experience computer science as a creative outlet and an opportunity to contribute to a better society,” Anderson says. “Students who have never seen themselves as computer scientists might find their niche by taking this newly developed course and falling in love with computer science.”