The school’s computer science program is still evolving

A growing computer science program at Worcester Technical High School is giving more and more students an introduction to information technology.

“Students in our program have this opportunity to come right out of this program and go right (to work) in the community, or what the majority of our students do, they do go to college,” she said.

Teachers Aarti Sangwan and Mary Miller provided the Worcester County Board of Education with an overview of Worcester Tech’s computer science program this week. Miller said the program, which is in just its fourth year, was providing skills and experience that would help students after high school.

According to Sangwan, the program was started four years ago to provide Worcester Tech students the Project Lead The Way computer science pathway. Sangwan, who was initially the only computer science teacher, was joined by Miller three years ago. The program has now grown to include 90 students who are offered four classes — computer science essentials, foundations of computer science, cyber security and AP computer science principles.

“If you’ve ever heard ‘don’t just play on your phones, program them,’ that’s what they get to do,” she said.

Miller said the introductory class, computer science essentials, gave students a taste of what they were getting into.

From there, students go on to program robots and learn text-based programming. The final class in the program is cyber security.

“They work on the ethics of conduct, both in their personal life and company’s life,” Miller said. “They get to talk about—debate—what you do in cyber security, what should you do, and what you protect against.”

Sangwan said the majority of the students in the program, 74%, came from Stephen Decatur High School while 15% came from Pocomoke High School and 11% came from Snow Hill High School. While most students are boys, Sangwan said there were several programs, such as Girls Go Cyber, that were meant to encourage more girls to explore the field. Lucy Murphy, a Snow Hill student taking part in the program, said it had started off with coding and then moved on to robots and working with Javascript.

“In this program we focus a lot on project…