KIPP Columbus visit to Amazon

STEM Spotlight: KIPP Columbus Leads the Way with Computer Science!

KIPP Columbus believes that having computer science at our high school is about access and equity for all. They know that when our students have access to computer science programming, they can and will thrive.

KIPP Columbus visit to Amazon By Hilah Barbot, KIPP Foundation STE Achievement Director

“Having computer science at our high school is about access and equity for all”, says KIPP Columbus High founding school leader, Alex Thanos. “In 2018, only one black student in the state of Ohio scored a 5 on the AP Computer Science test. KIPP Columbus High School is determined to show that when our students have access to Computer Science programming, they can and will thrive!”

Next year, KIPP Columbus High is excited to expand their Computer Science Program to reach 135 students per year in three courses: Computer Science Discoveries, AP Computer Science Principles, and AP Computer Science A.

Spearheaded by AP Calculus and Computer Science Teacher, Debbie Grashin, KIPP Columbus has taken the lead in paving the way for Computer Science across the KIPP network. Ms. Grashin has participated on KIPP’s Computer Science Vision Team for the past two years and has been integral in building KIPP’s partnership with Next year, she will serve as one of KIPP’s AP CSP Collaborative Leaders with the Reboot Representation Grant, and be sure to check out her session at KIPP School Summit this summer!

According to Ms. Grashin, “As a CS teacher, I get to be the Lead Learner, figuring things out alongside my students, rather than being the gatekeeper of knowledge. It’s awesome to see students get excited about what they are learning, and be proud of the projects (websites, apps, etc.) they create! The curricula we have chosen from for the CSD and CSP courses lays out super clear and engaging lesson plans, which takes away so much of the burden of teaching a new class, and allows me to focus on my students’ learning rather than planning the content.”

KIPP Columbus AP CSP students were the first to journey to Amazon as a part of the Future Engineer Grant this week. “It’s rare that I hear a bus full of high schoolers spending a 20-minute bus ride to campus talking about robotics, computer science, and the future of programming, but this experience generated that much enthusiasm!”, says Jake Kuhnline, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning.

Congratulations, KIPP Columbus, and cheers to future tech leaders of tomorrow–our KIPPsters!