SBHS Principal John Becchio decided to develop a computer science academy at SBHS after watching a small but enthusiastic group of Robotics Club students learn to program computers as part of a competition that emphasizes programming. His first step was to recruit calculus teacher Richard Johnston to teach an introductory computer science course. He then brought in advisors such as Dr. Zoe Wood, a computer science professor at Cal Poly and hired a new physics teacher from MIT with a computer science background, and SBHS teacher Joe Velasco to advise on organizing outreach to encourage more girls and students from under-represented minorities to study computer science. Finally, Paul Muhl, a software engineer and Stanford engineering graduate, was recruited to lead the computer science initiative, teach AP Computer Science and develop an innovative curriculum.
Students participating in the SBHS Computer Science Academy will begin with the established foundations of the Computer Science Principles and AP classes, and will then move on to more advanced topics and skills in CS education such as mobile programming, security, and other relevant topics and projects. Academy students will acquire an understanding of core computer science and associated mathematical principles, and will experience coding in several of the most widely used programming languages. They will also enjoy exposure to a variety of modern, relevant applications of computer science.
The Computer Science Academy is committed to welcoming students into the pathway at any stage in which they qualify. As the Academy and its feeder programs grow, so will the diversity of offerings. The Academy is also committed to widening the appeal of computer science with innovative new courses such as Computational Art and Mobile Programming.
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