The Eagle Eye

computer_ science_ requirement = true;

Making computer science mandatory in high school can add more than just endless lines of code.

Empty+class%2C+brimming+brains+-+Although+the+class+is+sparsely+populated%2C+math+teacher+Kim+Cozean+continues+to+teach+computer+science.
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computer_ science_ requirement = true;

Empty class, brimming brains - Although the class is sparsely populated, math teacher Kim Cozean continues to teach computer science.

Empty class, brimming brains - Although the class is sparsely populated, math teacher Kim Cozean continues to teach computer science.

Joe Fedden

Empty class, brimming brains - Although the class is sparsely populated, math teacher Kim Cozean continues to teach computer science.

Joe Fedden

Joe Fedden

Empty class, brimming brains - Although the class is sparsely populated, math teacher Kim Cozean continues to teach computer science.

Joe Fedden, Staff Writer

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Computer science. Programming. Coding. These terms are often heard but misunderstood in today’s tech-centric world.

The basic idea of computer science is the ability to tell a computer what to do. You are giving the computer its rules, guidelines and tasks. It’s the language of computers.

Writing code can be a very powerful tool. It controls everything from our tablets here at SMCHS to the International Space Station.

However, its power intimidates most people by the complexity of computers and its code. Most will just leave the task to the stereotypical “computer wizards” that spend all of their time writing line after line of code.

However, this apathetic mentality causes a problem.  As our world becomes more and more influenced by technology, less and less people understand how it works. Look at the difficult experience most of us had when we received our tablets for the first time.

This, along with many other reasons, is why computer science should be a mandatory class in high school.

Learning computer science can be more beneficial than most people think. Take math, for example.  Algebra, geometry and calculus may be very different subjects, but they all have one thing in common: problem solving.

When writing code, you are given a task for your program to complete — basically a problem to solve. You then take that idea and translate it into code, an effective way to increase critical thinking.

These problem solving skills can transition into your daily lives, like finding the fastest way to school or finding the easiest approach to a difficult school project.

As a course, computer science is more than just coding. It includes the study of computer hardware, networking and many more topics. Exposure to these ideas in high school can open the door for more opportunities and interests in career fields that you might have never considered.

Computers control our lives in this day and age. Our cars, schools, banks and even our coffee makers are all controlled by a circuit board. Without computer scientists, we could not have smart phones, tablets or the Internet. The number of jobs for computer scientists is growing every day, but the amount of computer science majors has not grown in proportion.

This lack of workforce creates an incentive for future computer scientists. With numerous openings in the work force and nobody to fill them, the average salary has gone through the roof.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a software developer was $93,350 in 2012. However, there were still over 1 million jobs left open.

In the struggle to be a staple in high school curriculums, the main issue computer science is facing is its difficulty. It’s easy to believe that programming is too difficult to learn and that only the smartest of people can code.

This is false.

If you have ever used Legos, finished a jigsaw puzzle or found a solution to a difficult problem, you have used basic programming skills.

In a jigsaw puzzle, all of the pieces are present, just in the wrong order. Your job is to discover that order and find a solution.  Coding uses that same basic formula.

Computer science is a very important subject to learn for the future. Without our basic understanding of computers, our modernized world as we know it would come to a screeching halt.

Computer science needs to be a mandatory course in high school. It’s about ensuring that today’s students are equipped to function in our ever-evolving, tech-centric world with more than just a phone in their pockets, but with a basic knowledge of computer science.

Code.org
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