Student Innovators Emphasize the Importance of Computer Science Education
Posted on 02/28/2023
A calculator used to find the solutions to quadratic equations, an artificial intelligence program that can predict poverty, a cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology, and an online puzzle game are innovations created by four iUniversity Prep students and demonstrated to Texas legislators to convey the importance of computer science education at a recent Coding at the Capitol event.

The students were part of a delegation of educators and students who traveled to Austin, Texas, on February 14 to interact with legislators, showcase their coding skills, and demonstrate projects they created.

“I think computer science education is important because it is already an extremely prevalent and in-demand field,” said Gavin Pena, an iUniversity Prep junior, who created the online puzzle game. “The need for [students] to be exposed to computer science should be a priority. Some [students] might not have the opportunity to explore this subject, so it is important that schools provide the resources necessary to learn.”

In GCISD, students are exposed to computer science at all grade levels.

“We start technology integration all the way down to kindergarten, even a little bit into preK.” GCISD's Chief Technology Officer Kyle Berger said. “As our students advance in technology here in GCISD, and they get into the middle school and some of our more advanced classes, they get into robotics or esports. As they accelerate into our high school levels, we have large engineering programs, autocad (a commercial computer-aided design and drafting software application), computer science, cybersecurity – all sorts of different things.”

He emphasized that the goal is to “prepare our students for future job markets” and that computer science builds a foundation of knowledge and skills.

Grace Sng, a sophomore at iUniversity Prep who created an AI program that predicts poverty, said that “computer science itself is currently dominating our world so computer science education is extremely important for students who are the next generation.”

Cryptocurrency creator and iUniversity Prep senior Brayden Michna believes it should be part of what future generations need to know.

“I think every kid should learn computer science just as they should learn math, science, English or history. It’s a part of our lives everywhere.”