The school will be gaining a new language class for 2017-2018. This is no ordinary language class as students won’t be learning a verbal language; they will be learning computer programming language.
Robert Grupp, a math and science teacher, will be teaching the new year-long class.
“This will be a full AP Computer Science class worth college credit,” said Grupp.
Many rumors were spread regarding this class and Grupp wants all to know that the class “is not being taught by a student, but by a certified teacher.”
Grupp is taking college classes in computer programming and plans to take additional classes next year. He said that he loves the classes and that it is “really fun.”
The course will be AP Computer Science Principles and not the more technical Computer Science A, in which students learn Fortran computer language.
According to the College Board, the Principles course “will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts.”
Grupp now teaches Integrated Math 1 Support, but has also taught science classes such as chemistry. He said this has prepared him to for his new class, which he elected to teach after speaking with Principal Brian Ginter.
“I teach math and that involves logic and reasoning and so does computer science,” said Grupp. “One day at a meeting Mr. Ginter asked if anyone was interested in teaching a computer science class. It got me interested so I began taking computer science classes and now I want to add more computer science classes.”
Grupp says that students from Oak Ridge High School take courses on web design, internet security, and game design. He hopes to get more students learning about computer science and programming as it is very important in today’s world since nearly everything is now computerized.
According to Stephanie Allen, the computer science teacher at Oak Ridge, 150,000 job openings for computer science majors exist, but only about 20,000 students graduate with degrees. Grupp’s hope is for Rio to have a computer science pathway like Oak Ridge to help kids get jobs even before graduating so that they may go on to having successful careers.
“I want kids to be able to create apps and learn how to use computer science to further their careers they may have later in life,” said Grupp. “I want kids to sign up for these classes so they can replace their friends’ jobs with kiosks they helped program.”