New Computer Science Elective: Training Tomorrow’s Technology Leaders

At the beginning of this semester, a new class was added to the Junior High elective offerings – Programming 2/Game Design taught by Doron Gladden. This class, a continuation in learning for students who have already taken Programming 1, builds on students’ understanding of the common coding computer language, ‘Python’. 

“There is an increasing need for students to not only know technology, but also to use technology,” shared Mr. Gladden. “It is my hope that by the end of our semester together, students are comfortable with the language concepts and ready to explore the numerous options available to them in the field of Computer Science. Further, this class enables students to achieve digital literacy in an ever-increasing, technological world.”

Within Programming 1, students use the computer programming language called Python. Python is referred to as general purpose, high-level programming language, meaning you can use Python to create essentially any type of program or software. Students can automate workflows, create websites, and build desktop applications and games with Python. With Python, students can be quickly introduced to basic concepts such as loops and procedures.

“Python is the best introductory programming language,” added Gladden.

As an example, using Python, students can cause movements of characters called ‘sprites’, execute commands such as causing ‘sprites’ to dance, change backgrounds, answer ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, as well as providing conditional statements for ‘sprites’ to follow. In Programming 2/ Game Design, students further build their depth of knowledge within the coding language and they are taught to create command functions to retro games like ‘Pong’ & ‘Pac-Man’, while also creating newer games such as ‘Angry Birds’. 

“I enjoy teaching students this course because they are indeed tomorrow’s leaders in a global, technological world,” Gladden shared. “Understanding coding could lead to potential careers in the expansive and lucrative technological job market.”
 
Gladden truly has a heart for his students and it shows. “I enjoy teaching at SCCS,” said Gladden. “Daily I am able to impress upon our students the implications of understanding and engaging the world around them according to a Christian worldview. In each of the subjects that I teach, I aim to demonstrate to our students that Jesus Christ is Lord, God and Savior, to the Glory of God the Father. He is the Lord over all things, and in Him are all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom hidden.”

Mr. Gladden began teaching at SCCS as a substitute teacher during the 2016-2017 school year. In addition to teaching Computer Programming, he also teaches 9th grade Geography and 8th, 10th and 11th grade Bible classes. He has served with the SCCS Athletic Department as an assistant coach in Varsity Football the last four seasons, as well as Assistant Varsity Basketball coach for the last two seasons.