At SchoolSphero Team
There are a few steps you can take to start a computer science program at your high school.

Currently, just over 51% of high schools offer a computer science program. While this is technically a majority, there’s plenty of work left to be done to ensure that more students have the opportunity to develop computer science skills and careers. Even students who aren’t interested in pursuing a computer science trajectory can still benefit from courses and foster new, transferable abilities.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is extremely valuable to further critical thinking, reasoning, spatial skills, and technical knowledge. At its core, computer science is the study of the development, design, and analysis of software and hardware in different contexts. But the subject also pushes students to explore their creativity and curiosity which can be applied to their daily lives.

A high school computer science program not only ensures that students are better prepared for the responsibilities that accompany the digital age, but it also allows teachers to curate a fun, futuristic class. Here’s why a high school computer science program is a positive step, and how to implement it in your school or organization.

Why Are Computer Science Programs Important? 

Computer science is a critical component of the modern world. We use digital tools and processes for essential acts in daily life. So naturally, there’s a huge demand for people to build, maintain, and advance those resources. There’s also the need to better understand the relationship between society and technology, how we can use it sustainably, and ethically, and what its influence will be in years to come.

By starting a computer science program in high school, more students can discover the digital realm early on, and begin to understand the often complex, but fascinating, nature of technology. Considering that all students will be shaped by technology throughout their lives, having a core understanding of it and knowing how to assess and manipulate it will be a huge advantage in both their personal and professional lives.

How to Use a Computer Science Education

At the college level, computer science graduates consistently rank as one of the most successful in securing full-time employment. Many go on to work in some of the highest-paid professions in the United States, including:

  • programmers and developers
  • system analysts
  • software engineers 
  • database administrators
  • business intelligence analysts

However, computer science is currently predominantly comprised of men, with only 21% of the workforce represented by women. By teaching computer science at the high school level, teachers can invite more students to participate in the subject early on and begin to change the demographics of computer science to be more balanced and representative of the society that technology serves. Plus, more people from different backgrounds will be able to reap the many benefits of being proficient in computer science.

Students and Computer Science

Teachers can help encourage students to get involved in computer science, even if they aren’t immediately interested in a STEM career. Studying software and design may not appeal to everyone, but problem-solving and computational thinking skills are essential tools for all students. These skills empower students to easily navigate technology, helping them succeed in a variety of careers both in and outside of STEM.

Thinking through how a program is structured in a computer science class is similar to how a student may approach an essay for an English class. Likewise, diving into math concepts or exercising those problem-solving muscles is always worthwhile for general learning and development. Computer science can easily connect to a number of other subjects and interests.

How to Start a Computer Science Program

How then, can teachers get students engaged in computer science? 

Gain Organizational Support

To start, ensure that stakeholders from the school/organization are included in the computer science discussion—for instance, the school board, students’ parents, local coding schools, and business owners. is an excellent resource that uses graphics to visually present a more granular picture of the existing state of computer science in the US, and can offer data to fuel conversations around the importance of computer science in high school education.

Choose a Computer Science Curriculum

Once there’s clear backing from key players, work together to find a computer science course that suits students at a beginner level; this should align with the organization’s mission and be consistent with the teaching approach that’s already in place.

Next, create a buzz around the course. Showcase the cool reasons to study computer science, and try to keep the messaging related to things that high schoolers will care about. Highlight how computer science skills can help them bring their passions and creativity to life through things like website and app development. 

During computer science classes remember to incorporate hands-on tools to contextualize some of the most abstract elements of computer science. Robots are ideal, as they run on technical systems but enable students to see a direct connection between command and output and to see how code manifests in the physical world.

Ensure Access

Teachers should keep in mind that a computer science program will require access to devices for students to learn how to code. Schools and locations with a computer lab will be able to host these types of courses but need to be aware that students may not have the same access at home. Limited devices or internet connections will make completing homework tasks difficult, so computer science courses should create a plan to accommodate these needs, and resources be made available on a more flexible basis to facilitate students’ progress.

Bring Computer Science to Your School with Sphero

In today’s digital age, it’s important that high schoolers develop computer science skills. Cultivating an interest in computer science prepares students for a variety of careers and invokes creative thinking and problem-solving. 

Interested in programmable robots and standards-aligned curriculum to make your computer science program more robust? What about free coding apps and lessons to further students’ engagement? Take a look at our STEM resources – Sphero has you covered.

At school