Computer Power

 

If knowledge is power, a new class at Catholic High—Computer Science and Programming—really packs a punch. The class itself is a result of a push from the governor of Arkansas, Mr. Asa Hutchinson. Mr. Hutchinson said he believes that offering computer classes will change the state’s economy and “will put us on the forefront of technology education.”

The computer science class at Catholic High is a senior elective with 18 students currently. Mr. Matt Dempsey, the teacher of the class, said that the goal is “for students to have a basic understanding of computer hardware; a basic understanding of networks, databases, but most of our emphasis will be on coding. He also said, “My hope is that these guys have a good general idea of what coding is and how to do it.” The students are currently learning to code with the language Python.

Computer science means different things to different people. For some, computer science is a hobby, for others it is a part of job, for others still it may become a larger part of their lives. But what does this class mean to the students at Catholic High?

Senior Andrew Cline thinks computer science provides “a really cool way to create what you want to make.” For students thinking about majoring in computer science, like senior Nick Miller, the class offers a way “to tell whether or not I should pursue this path.”

Another student of the class, senior Thomas Howe, wants to be a civil engineer, and computer science gives him a chance to understand how computers might help him in the future. “Computer science to me is not just understanding how a computer works, but also how to take advantage of it such as creating …simulations of real world events,” said Howe. His older brother, already a civil engineer, uses computer science to help in his job, and Thomas believes that it will help him, too.

No matter how people feel about computer science, though, it is an important and potentially lucrative field in today’s world. Mr. Todd Greer, CEO of the company Spotright, Inc., a technology company based in Little Rock, hires people with computer science degrees at varying skill levels. He believes that computer science is an important field and will only become more important for technology companies like Spotright. He also said, “There is a definite shortage of qualified job candidates in the Arkansas computer science market.” With so many possibilities, the new computer science class provides a powerful elective choice and opportunities for the future of our students and our state. “As computers become more universal, it is only going to be beneficial to have an understanding of how they work,” said Mr. Dempsey.

 

Seniors Benjamin Paladino and Andrew Cline Contributed to this article.

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