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With help from CMU, pilot programming course to start this fall at Hampton

| Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 2:09 p.m.
Hampton High School
Bethany Hofstetter | Hampton Journal
Hampton High School

Hampton High School, with the assistance of Carnegie Mellon University, is developing a new computer course curriculum, including a beginning computer programming class coming this fall.

The elective “Introduction to Computer Programming” will be available for students as early as ninth grade, teaching core computer skills, according to Marguerite Imbarlina, Hampton High principal.

Imbarlina said she approached CMU several years ago because she wanted extra expertise in developing the computer sciences curriculum. She's been working with David Kosbie, an associate teaching professor at CMU's School of Computer Science.

“He's been a great resource,” said Imbarlina.

She and Kosbie presented the proposed Computer Science Pathway to the Hampton School Board at a recent meeting.

The curriculum will be an important addition for students, regardless of what they're planning to study.

“Programming and computer science are tools that can be applied to all disciplines,” said Kosbie, a former high school teacher. “Kids should know about programming, even if they're not going to be programmers.”

A wide variety of students take Kosbie's programming course, including those majoring in architecture, art or even music. One drama student used programming to create an application that featured set design solutions, he said.

After first working with Hampton, CMU is now working with several other area districts in presenting this pilot program, said Imbarlina, and assigned him to work exclusively with the schools.

The Computer Science Pathway will eventually update courses and introduce new, more intense classes for students wanting to build upon their skills. This includes an advance placement course, which will provide college credit, said Imbarlina.

“These are some things we are really excited about,” said Imbarlina.

CMU will make university staff available to help the district and professional development for teachers will be available.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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