From smartphones to computers, to tablets to streaming devices, 90 percent of U.S. households contain at least one technological device, with the typical American household containing five. If the statistic sounds high, just imagine if every device that exists in the workplace was also included.
To showcase technology’s influence to students, Kevin Wang, who earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from U.C. Berkeley and a graduate in education from Harvard University, created the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program.
TEALS is a nationwide program dedicated to building and growing computer science programs in schools. The goal is to inform students of the varying ways computer science applies to their daily lives, and to inspire the world’s next generation of developers and computer scientists.
The program offers schools the opportunity to partner with them so they can grow their computer science program and have support with class strategies and training.
In Washington County, Trinity High School has partnered with the TEALS program; by gaining this partnership, Trinity was able to offer their first AP computer science principles class in the 2017-18 school year.
Alison Migyanko, the AP computer science pinciples teacher, developed an interest letter to send to professionals in the technology field, hoping that they would be interested enough to come and impart their knowledge on her students. Roger Shaw and Dr. Dustin McIntyre showed that interest, and now provide real-world programming experience to the students in Migyanko’s class.
Shaw is a senior technical analyst and McIntyre is a mechanical engineer.
“We’re trying to develop interest in computer science for anybody, grades nine through 12. So it’s geared toward students who aren’t really sure about what they want to do with technology. It’s also not just programming, but also how technology impacts every part of our world,” Migyanko said.
The AP computer science principles course doesn’t have to be taught in conjunction with the TEALS program in order to teach students computer programming and its influence. However, through this cooperation, Trinity will be able to cultivate a generation of technology innovators and developers to continue their TEALS goals of informing students about the importance of technology.
April Horency, a senior at Trinity High School, is co-editor-in-chief of “The Hiller” newspaper.