In this episode Kyle Dencker and Priscilla Reyes discuss the importance of mastering problem solving and how computer science helps students learn this valuable life skill. The two explain how their classes help students learning problem solving methods in other classes, too. (You’ve got to listen to hear what they have to say about math teachers!)
Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles is a portfolio assessed class that provides students the opportunity to explore something of their own interest. For example, if a student has a passion for agriculture, he can explore ways to make it more effective on smaller patches of land. The topics to explore are endless, which appeals to a variety of students.
One group of students both teachers work to increase is females in computer science. Since each student tackles a problem using prior experience as their base knowledge, having gender and racial diversity in these classes (and professionally) helps increase the variety of solutions available. Each person’s unique idea helps contribute to the collective solution.
With that in mind, Kyle has all of his female students apply for the National Center for Women and Informational Technology Aspirations for Computing award because it provides recipients with recognition, scholarships, access to internships and female role models.
Take a listen to how they recruit, why they teach and being responsible digital citizens.
ITEMS OF NOTE
ABOUT THE GUESTS–
Kyle Dencker teaches Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles at Timber Creek HS. He was the 2019 Orange County Public Schools Teacher of the Year and a state finalist, and a National Center for Women and Informational Technology Aspirations for Computing Educator award recipient for Central Florida in 2013 and 2017. He also sponsors the competitive Programming Team.
Priscilla Reyes teaches AP Computer Science Principles at Apopka HS and is the National Center for Women and Informational Technology Aspirations for Computing Educator award recipient for Central Florida. She sponsors the Girls Can Code club and is adding the Bro Code club next year. She’s also exploring going into Title 1 schools in Apopka to help teach younger students how to code.