Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

Uplifting the Voices of Princeton Day School

The Spokesman

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Critical Insights During Computer Science Teachers’ Summit


In the constantly evolving landscape of education, there is always room for improvement. Some students, such as PDS sophomores Ankith Namireddy and Justin Phillip, have taken it into their own hands to strive for this improvement. During the Computer Science Teachers Association Equity in Action (CSTA) Summit on March 2, they presented their advice on how to improve general student experience with equitable teaching processes to other teachers and students around the country. The summit was an opportunity for computer science teachers across the nation to come together to exchange knowledge and ideas surrounding best practices for teaching computer science (CS). The theme of this year’s summit was “ACCESS-ibility”, which urged CS educators to create strategies to dismantle barriers in CS education while shaping the future of computer science education—making it not only accessible but equitable for all. Computer science teacher Toni Dunlap offered Namireddy and Phillip the opportunity to make a guest appearance during the “Coding for Change” workshop, and they gladly accepted. Namireddy said he took this opportunity because it was “a chance to share [his] experience and how to go further from that.”

In preparation, the two sophomores organized a document with questions and answers to devise new, more helpful ways of teaching. Their suggestions include having an end-of-year project in which students can freely choose their topic, not limited to learning a coding language, so that those with interest in hardware can also engage with the class on the same level by studying something such as building a keyboard or experimenting with 3D printers. “Knowing what your students are interested in is a big part of it,” said Phillip. He encourages teachers to “design parts of the curriculum that are catered to [their] students.” Ms. Dunlap made sure Namireddy and Phillip’s call for innovation and adaptability was heard, and expressed pride in their accomplishment. Chances to delve into critical dialogues such as this are somewhat frequent within PDS; you just have to look for them. Take these two sophomores as a good example, and we’re all looking forward to seeing what kind of change you can bring!

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