As the 2019-2020 academic year begins, Apollo High School has launched a four-year “Code Pathway” to offer students the opportunity to participate in a wide spectrum of computer science course offerings throughout their high school careers.
Jonathan Leohr is entering his 13th year of teaching computer science at AHS. Leohr, who also teaches engineering and serves as the school’s technology coordinator and varsity robotics coach, recently researched the school’s tradition of excellence in providing these meaningful learning experiences for students, which dates back to the early 1970s. Leohr documented the history of computer science and coding at AHS here: http://ahscodepathway.weebly.com/history.html
“I am thrilled to learn just how long we have had Computer Science offered and how it has grown into what we are excited to offer as brand new opportunities this year,” Leohr said. “As of this year, we are now proud to offer a full four years of courses. Code Pathway will begin with a basic introduction to programming and conclude with a senior year capstone course in which students will work independently and as a team, learning a language of their own choosing that best fits the concept of their project. These projects will include elements of entrepreneurship, incorporating the essential elements of researching the financial aspects of how would these projects would be successful in a real-world situation.”
Leohr said the four-year program will begin with a strong foundation and build to high levels of learning. “Over the course of four years, students will learn as many as 12 different coding languages, depending on the path and electives they choose and the project they focus on their senior year. Students will develop projects ranging from small-scale phone apps all the way up to full-blown industry-level multi-user desktop or web applications that include relational databases.”
Apollo High School has confirmed that the Kentucky Department of Education has certified these courses as part of the Computer Programming Pathway. That certification states: “The Computer Programming pathway courses will prepare students to design and create apps, as well as troubleshoot the latest programming languages used in industry. It is suggested that students complete the pathway with the four following courses: Computer Literacy,
Computational Thinking, along with targeted courses for specific programming language(s) or Project-Based Programming as capstones. Upon completion of this career pathway, students will be prepared for an entry level position in the IT field or continue their education in computer programming.”
The AHS Code Pathway includes courses in digital literacy, computational thinking, computer science principles and project-based programming.
The experience students glean at Apollo High School will have lifelong benefits, Leohr said. “Many of our students who complete this full four-year program will go straight into the industry or continue their education at a college or university. We already have many students successfully placed into both.”
Leohr said the Code Pathway continues Apollo’s rich tradition of providing real-world learning experiences for students. “I am simply excited to continue the tradition of leading the state in our commitment to preparing our students for the future in computer science and technology,” he said.