Amazon to fund two computer science courses at GHS next year

The Goshen High School was recently selected as an Amazon Future Engineer (AFE) school – a partnership between Amazon and Edhesive to improve access to computer science education in communities currently underrepresented in the technology field.

Future Engineer logoAs an AFE school, Amazon and Edhesive will fully fund all curriculum, professional development, and software required to teach two new courses next year: Introduction to Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles. According to Assistant Principal Kyle Roddey, this opportunity also allows students to become eligible for scholarships and internships through Amazon.

“We are thrilled to offer this new program, which will help prepare students for a technological world,” said Roddey. “Whatever field our students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge upon understanding how technology works, in addition to their ability to problem solve, reason, and think creatively.”

About the courses

Introduction to Computer Science

This course is designed to offer an introduction to computer science. Students will learn the basics of computer programming along with the basics of computer science. The material emphasizes computational thinking and helps develop the ability to solve complex problems.

This course covers the basic building blocks of programming along with other central elements of computer science. It gives a foundation in the tools used in computer science and prepares students for further study in computer science, including AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A courses.

The course allows students to work independently in text-based Python. The course also includes a career focus, where at the end of units, students meet (via videos) individuals from different industries who work in coding (medical, music, etc.).

AP Computer Science Principles

The AP CS Principles course is a full year AP course geared towards 10th-12th graders. Edhesive has partnered with the University of Texas at Austin’s UTeach Institute to launch an online version of the esteemed UTeach CS Principles curriculum. This curriculum has been
endorsed by the College Board.

UTeach CS Principles has been designed as a year-long high school course that fully addresses the seven “Big Ideas” of computer science and six “Computational Thinking Practices”, as specified by the College Board’s AP Computer Science Principles curriculum framework.

The lessons and materials used throughout this course incorporate Project-Based Learning (PBL), a pedagogical approach that actively engages students in the educational process, improves retention and develops problem-solving, critical thinking, and group communication skills. Through this collaborative, learner-centric approach, students are encouraged to explore the advantages and societal impact of computational technology while developing their own programming and computational thinking skills.

The course is roughly 20% coding, and 80% focused on CS applications through project-based, inquiry-based, collaborative learning.

In addition to Introduction to Computer Science and AP Computer Science Principles, the high school will begin offering several new STEAM Courses and Distance and Online Courses next year. Learn more about the new courses at Goshen High School. These courses are not part of the AFE program.

About AFE

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Many students eager to fill that gap and obtain a high paying job in technology do not have access to computer science in their high schools. Often schools want to offer these courses to their students but do not have access to curriculum and/or teacher support materials.

Amazon and Edhesive are partnering to address this gap by sponsoring teachers and administrators who demonstrate this need and are committed to bringing computer science to their school with access to content such as: Computer Science, AP Computer Science Principles, or AP Computer Science A courses. This content also includes access to support forums for both students and educators new to learning or teaching computer science. Interested schools can learn more at www.amazonfutureengineer.com, including how students can access college scholarships and internships at Amazon.

Questions? Contact Goshen High School Assistant Principal Kyle Roddey at kyle.roddey@gcsny.org or 845-615-6100.