CS Student Profile Series: “It’s like this puzzle you get to solve and do and it’s really relaxing.”

In Casey Donahue’s classes, students have a range of coding experience. For some, this is their first time coding, others are building particle physics engines within Code.org’s interface. Talking to a few of these high school students, I was struck by their enthusiasm for Computer Science and their emphasis on how important it is for the future.

These excerpts are from interviews with Casey’s First Period students. All quotes have been reviewed by the students and permission has been given by their parents.

Faith & Alana

Faith: I’ve been learning coding for 2 years now. I started learning coding my Junior year. I got into it because my dad and I had a friend who was doing it as well. He’s a programmer at Zoot. He created his own computer language — it was cool and he was like ‘I think you’d be good at it’ — I said ‘ok I’ll try.’ I did it last year and I fell in love with it completely. I had so much fun learning. It’s like this puzzle you get to solve and do and it’s really relaxing.

Alana: I started at the beginning of the semester. I had some unofficial things before — Khan Academy mostly — and I thought it would be really cool. My brother and I both got into it — we’re twins.

How would you like to see Computer Science change the world?

Faith: One thing I’ve become really interested in is how to throw Computer Science in with Psychology. I did a project in Psychology class to map the human brain. We created an algorithm to take a ton of people’s MRIs and we mapped the pre-frontal cortex. We found 81 new features of the brain, in addition to the 91 that are already identified.

It’s so interesting to able to understand the human brain and how humans think and how to be able to help PTSD victims and other mental illnesses. We don’t understand so much about the brain and Computer Science could be something to help us understand more.

Alana: I think Computer Science could really keep improving cybersecurity — making all our systems more secure. There’s so much we don’t understand.