7 Ways to Get Students Interested in Computer Science

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4) Computers in Content Areas

As a licensed special education teacher, I co-teach classes in almost every content area at my high school. This has allowed me to bring programming into classrooms and show students how computers can be a great tool for their learning. Sometimes my computer students leverage my lessons in their other classes. For example, one student wrote a program that calculated Ohm’s Law for his physics homework.

In my chemistry class, students were tasked with converting gas pressures between different units of measurement. For one assignment, they had to convert atmospheres to kilopascals, or pounds per square inch, to millimeters of mercury. Faced with tables of conversion factors and punching away at calculators, I demonstrated how a program I wrote in Python could easily and accurately convert all the metric and English measurements. My chemistry colleague was also able to explain that in most laboratories, computers are just as important as flasks and Bunsen burners.

My math class was a natural environment to show how computers can be used to better understand geometry formulas. Every geometry student is faced with problems to determine if three given lengths are valid for forming a triangle. The Triangle Inequality Theorem, which states that the sum of two side lengths of a triangle is always greater than the third side, is very easily converted into a computer program. With only a few more lines of code, your program can even determine if the resulting triangle is right, equilateral, or scalene.

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