New this year – AP Computer Science

Jason Wessel, Assistant Editor

Everyday we use a handful of gadgets: cellphones, computers, TV’s, maybe an iPad, Alexa, or Firestick. By using these devices, we interact with loads of software and apps. You’ve likely questioned how these things work. How exactly does Netflix decide what to recommend me, or why do I have to update Instagram? 

Now you can demystify these processes by learning the fundamentals of Computer Science. New Prague High School is proud to offer not one, but two Computer Science classes. Mr. Bailey began teaching the introductory course in 2018 and is instructing the first batch of NPHS computer scientists in this year’s AP course. 

He admits his motivations for teaching CS are, “mainly selfish, because it sounded entertaining.” If you have any interest in computers and how they work, taking the introductory course is a great way to gain exposure to the basic premises behind programming and the logic of computers. 

Bailey says: “If you’re at all interested, try the intro course. It’s not crazy difficult, and there’s not a lot of homework. Intro is a low-stakes way to get your feet wet.” 

Despite that non-intimidating description, some people find the concept of programming to be intimidating assuming you have to be great with computers, a math whiz, or a natural 4.0 student, but Bailey says none of that is true. Everyone can succeed, and as long as you’ve had some basic experience with problem solving and logic, such as Algebra II, you’re completely capable of beginner programming. 

Bailey’s proud New Prague can now offer its students an opportunity they’ve never had. He says “CS is one of the hottest job fields, and now New Prague can address it, helping kids avoid failure going into the competitive field.” 

He says that even if you don’t plan on programming after the class, taking just the introductory course is a great way to foster problem solving and logical thinking, a skill that’s highly valuable for all walks of life and careers, and is a great option during registration.