Computer Science

To Program or Not to Program?

By on August 31st, 2017

To program, or not to program? That is the question. If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t learned to program yet – but if you’re like most people, you probably should.

Many people don’t learn about programming because they think it doesn’t relate to their personal or career interests. After all, not everyone wants to be a professional programmer, right? However, should a person take a finance class only if he/she is going to be an accountant? Continue reading


Military Crossroads with Career and Technical Education (CTE)

By on May 26th, 2017

Michael Francis

Michael Francis, U.S. Army Sergeant

From 2000 to 2004, I was an active duty Soldier in the United States Army and have been in the Florida Army National Guard since 2005.

There are many parts of my military career that stand out in my memory. Basic training, my drill sergeant during the hot summer at Fort Jackson, being in my promotion board during the September 11 attacks, being deployed during multiple state emergencies, and so much more. Most recently, and regardless of political platform, I was honored to play a role in our democracy by providing security support for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration in D.C.

However, these memories and events are not what changed me the most.

Instead, it is the military’s connection with CTE that has been the most valuable. That connection positively affected my personal life, my educational pursuits, and my civilian career.

Although military life is not for everyone, the skills and knowledge that are integrated within CTE are for everyone, whether an Army future is in the cards or not.

Continue reading


Catching Up with a Computer Science Expert

By on December 9th, 2016

To get a better idea of what Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code is all about, FLVS Content Writer Irene Pynn-Cunha sat down to chat with Amie Ross, FLVS Computer Science instructor.

flvs-hour-of-code-2016Mrs. Ross looks forward to Computer Science Education Week every year. In the past, she’s worked with students both online and face to face. She loves watching mental light bulbs go off all around the room as, one by one, students who thought they would never learn to code begin solving programming puzzles.

“When something works,” she says, “the excitement on their faces, that’s really cool.”

This year, she’ll be helping students with one of her favorite puzzles: a storybook about Santa’s missing socks. It may seem like a simple exercise, but by the end, students discover they’ve just worked through a challenging computer science concept: the binary search.

Mrs. Ross says one of the great benefits of Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code is that participants “tackle very complicated concepts without even realizing it.” In many ways, this is the key to showing students that programming actually is for anyone. In fact, she says, programming is a heavily creative field. “I’ve watched a lot of students really surprise themselves,” she says. “There isn’t just one type of person who gets into programming.” Continue reading


Coding Workshops Help Elementary Teachers Revolutionize Classrooms

By on July 13th, 2016

coding workshopsBack in 2013, twin brothers Hadi and Ali Partovi started Code.org with the goal of expanding access to computer science to all students.

Their vision is that “every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science.”  They also believe that computer science “should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.”

Since that time, Code.org has blossomed into a full organization that supports access to computer science for students of all ages, genders, and ethnicities.  Continue reading


Join an Hour of Code!

By on November 23rd, 2015

Hour of Code TutorialsComputers are everywhere, but fewer schools teach computer science than 10 years ago.

The good news is, we’re on our way to change this. If you’ve heard about the Hour of Code before, you might know it made history. More than 100 million students have tried an Hour of Code with fun online games and tutorials featuring Star Wars, Minecraft, and Frozen.

This year, students of the FLVS STEM Club will give presentations about creating websites and more. Last year, every Apple Store in the world hosted an Hour of Code and even President Obama wrote his first line of code as part of the campaign.

Over 100 partners have joined together to support this movement.  Continue reading