Featured Course: Introduction to Computer Science 1

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014
Computer Science
Are you interested in learning how to program? Do you ever wonder how computer programs operate? If so, check out Introduction to Computer Science 1, an elective course offered at Chatham High School. The course "emphasizes the concept of object-oriented programming using the Java language," according to the Program of Studies. A recent increase in STEM classes at the high school has led to the course becoming more popular with students.

One student mentioned that the course is, "pretty interesting; difficult at times, but nevertheless it introduces an important concept [Java] to understand as it opens up several new career options." Several students described the teacher, Mr. Hajdu, as being, "knowledgeable about the topic, and able to help you figure it out on your own, which is important for logical problem-solving, and he is very hands-on with the way he teaches."

The most common thought that prevents students from taking this course has become experience. However, one student mentioned that he/she had, "no programming experience, but was still able to learn and understand at the same pace as more experienced students." Using Karel, a package that can be easily installed in Java, students are able to learn proper syntax, or coding grammar, and see their finished result move, which helps ease into the process of coding.

Recently, students began to code using Java without the visual Karel provided, similar to how programmers would. Using the basic syntax and logic that they learned from Karel, they began to create Java programs for real-life situations. Several students described this change as being, "difficult, but certainly interesting, as the implementation of real scenarios creates a sense of accomplishment inside knowing that you were able to create something that could be used by real companies and developers."

If this sounds interesting, be sure to sign up for the elective for next school year!