Teachers push for AP Programming

Elizabeth Hsieh, Feature Editor

Currently only offering Computer Programming 1 and 2, the Computer Science program is pushing to run the class AP Computer Science A next year.
Although the class has always been a part of the curriculum, it has never been officially run.
“It’s usually a combination of interest and how it works out with the schedule and whether it’s available during a period when students can actually have access to it,” Scott Nissley, computer programming teacher, said.
AP Computer Science A will be an advanced coding class that is heavily based off of Java.
“Java is one of those languages that you can spend years on, and it is one of the most powerful, popular languages and has been for years,” Nissley said. “All languages have strengths and weaknesses. This one’s a little bit more based on networking, which, right now, everything is interconnected, and Java is not platform specific, meaning if you write a program you can run it on a Mac or Window and you don ’t actually have to install the program on each computer.”
The class is designed for students who have already taken Computer Programming or have experience with coding. The expected curriculum features a faster paced schedule and more out-of-school involvement.
“It is run like a lab,” Nissley said. “There are some lectures, but a lot of the time spent is problem solving, testing things, coming up with ideas, and making them work.”
Nissely hopes the class will give students enough knowledge to take projects out of the classroom.
“I want to teach students enough, and get them interested enough, that when they start to have ideas, they ask ‘I wonder if I can do that? I think I can do that,’” Nissely said.
Students in current computer programming classes already have the opportunity to begin applying their skills.
“Computer Programming has been different than other classes because it has been more about really understanding the material by working through the problems rather than just learning facts,” Amelya Fox, freshman, said.