Both Valerie Erazo and Saniyah Santos know what careers they want to pursue after high school.
“I’m looking forward to making a career out of building websites. This job can be difficult, but I like the challenge.”
“And I want to be a software developer,” said 15-year-old Saniyah.
Valerie and Saniyah are students at the New Orleans Charter Science and Math High School, commonly known as Sci Hi. Recently, the school received a $10,000 grant for her computer science program from Code.org.
Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, Code.org is a non-profit educational organization that advances computer science to K-12 students, especially those in underserved communities. It’s supported by hundreds of contributors, including Google, Amazon, and Microsoft.
Sci Hi currently offers two computer science classes: Computer Science Exploration and Computer Science Principles. This grant will be used to support new classes for advanced students studying computer science principles.
Code.org co-founder and CEO Hadi Partovi said:
“Given that many of our students come from communities that have historically lacked access to computer science education, we believe that this award will expand opportunities for students not only in our school but throughout the district. hoping.”
Christina Mason, a computer science teacher, created a grant application. She said she has to meet some requirements when submitting her application.
“We had to explain our commitment to expanding computer science education in schools,” explains Mason. “And we had to show how students could benefit from this technology and incorporate it into the classroom.
“The majority of my students have no programming experience. When you know you can do it, it teaches you to be patient.”
Valerie said taking a computer science course gave her confidence.
In a survey of computer science classes, Mason said that although the course didn’t technically offer programming, he integrated programming into the class.
“To teach programming, we used the Carnegie Mellon University Coding Academy curriculum to draw shapes that could be used to create images, animations, and games,” explains Mason. “Everything that happens on a computer is coded by a software engineer or developer. Coding is learning how to give commands to a computer so that it can do a task.”
Saniyah, a first year student at Sci Hi, took this class last semester.
“I learned a lot in that class. It was very diverse,” Sanya said. “Once you learn how to code, you can create anything you want. The class really opened my mind.”
Mason said increasing access to the field is important, especially in Louisiana, which lags behind in technical education.
“As a teacher, I am fortunate to have been able to provide this funding to Sci Hi.”