St. Margaret’s Introducing Computer Science Pilot Unit Into Upper School Math Classrooms

St. Margaret’s Upper School geometry students are completing a pilot unit introducing them to computer science, part of a broader strategy that recognizes a link between coding and important mathematical concepts. 
The geometry students are currently taking part in a computer-science unit designed by St. Margaret’s computer science teacher Nathan Valdez. They are learning how to program in A-frame, a language used to create 3D shapes and scenes for virtual reality. 
“We know that our students, regardless of whether they pursue computer science or not, will need to understand computer-science fundamentals for future jobs,” said Director of Educational Technology and Library Angela Mackenzie. “Computer science is all around us and that is only going to grow. Understanding why things work the way they do and the process of programming will be fundamental to success in many areas.”
When brainstorming ways to pilot computer-science fundamentals into other classrooms, the Upper School geometry classes were an ideal place to start. 
“Math is a natural fit for introducing these concepts, not necessarily because of the math involved in coding, but because of computational thinking,” Mrs. Mackenzie said. “Our geometry students were in a perfect place at this point of the year to move into this unit.”
The Upper School geometry teachers—Elizabeth O’Shea, Masami Stahr, Meghan Benson and Christian Kim—are collecting feedback from students and contributing their own, which will be considered by the Upper School as they determine how to connect math and computer science in future classes. 
St. Margaret’s school leaders have long encouraged interdisciplinary units like this, as such curriculum allows students to connect their learning across subject areas and increases the relevance and presents academic content in a new, enlightening way. 
An independent preschool through grade 12 college-preparatory day school in Orange County, California
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St. Margaret’s Episcopal School
31641 La Novia Avenue
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
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