Thomasville High School and Scholars Academy students receive training in technology through Computer Science Principles, a course that introduces the foundations of computer science with a focus on how computing powers the world.
Along with the fundamentals of computing, students learn to analyze data, create technology that has a practical impact, and gain a broader understanding of how computer science impacts people and society. Computer applications classes have been taught on campus for many years, but those classes focused on typing skills and being able to use basic computer applications.
Students can now dive into more explicit and deeper study of computer science with Patricia Beach, a newcomer to the Thomasville City Schools staff.
“The thing that I enjoy most about teaching this course is that I really like to watch the students acquire knowledge and learn how to create ideas,” said Beach.
Sophomore Jackson Coppedge compared his previous computer science courses from the course that he is taking now.
“Other classes that I have taken have not gone into full detail as to what is going on inside the computer compared to my current computer class,” Coppedge said.
Sophomore Mauri Leroux explained why she enjoys the course.
“I enjoy the course because it’s easy to understand the concepts of the lessons,” she said.
Beach said the students learn about the hardware, the history of computers, and then they learn programming.
“The course is also built on seven big ideas: creativity, data and information, algorithms, programming, abstraction, the internet, and the impact of data on the world,” she said.
“I’ve learned, so far, how to code things. I also want to get better at coding because I am still at the beginner level,” said Bella Pozo.
“I have learned the binary number system, how different circuits use the number binary system, and how computers get access to RAM,” Coppedge said.
Beach said there is not a career that doesn’t consist of some type of computer science skill.
“I really challenge my students to think of any career where you couldn’t use any computer science skills. Farmers, artists, fishermen, hunters, and land managers all interact with computers in some way,” said Beach.
Coppedge plans to invent his own computer one day in the future.
“I am fascinated about how computers work and hope that one day I can invent a special type of computer that can benefit people more than computers do today,” he said.
Beach encourages students to join her class because of its promising enjoyment.
“Come take my class. I teach a full range of classes, through middle school and high school, so it doesn’t matter what grade you’re in. You’re welcome!” said Beach.