Monday, June 18 , 2018, 1:32 am | Fair 53º

 
 
 
 

Santa Barbara High School Computer Science Academy Recipient of $100,000 Mosher Foundation Grant

Representatives from the Mosher Foundation visit with the students from Richard Johnston’s Introduction to Computer Science class in Santa Barbara High School’s Computer Science Academy. From left are SBHS Principal John Becchio, Sue and Ed Birch, and CS Academy Director Paul Muhl.
Representatives from the Mosher Foundation visit with the students from Richard Johnston’s Introduction to Computer Science class in Santa Barbara High School’s Computer Science Academy. From left are SBHS Principal John Becchio, Sue and Ed Birch, and CS Academy Director Paul Muhl. (Santa Barbara High School Computer Science Academy photo)

Santa Barbara High School’s Computer Science Academy is delighted to announce that it has received a $100,000 grant from the Mosher Foundation to be used for curriculum development.

The one year old SBHS CS Academy is paving the way for computer science education in California. It offers a range of innovative coursework for all students, from those who are interested in pursuing a career in computer science to those simply interested in gaining exposure to the world of CS that colors our everyday experiences.

Edward Birch, president and CEO of the Mosher Foundation, notes, "We are pleased to support this exceptional initiative by the Computer Science Academy, which will bring coding and other essential learning opportunities to a greater number of high school students. The skill sets learned as part of this initiative are absolutely essential in today's world.”

As an open academy, CS classes are available to all students at SBHS. Students are offered a variety of classes from AP Computer Science and Exploring Computer Science (an initiative of the National Science Foundation) to Computational Art and iOS Mobile Programming, which were developed specifically for the SBHS CS Academy.

Paul Muhl, CS Academy director, plans to use the Mosher Foundation grant in part to develop a new math class to be offered in the fall: Pre-Calculus with Python. The grant will also allow the CS Academy to bring in outside experts for continuing curriculum development, such as Dr. Zoe Wood, a professor of computer science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, who was instrumental in the development of the Computational Art class that was first taught this past year.

"We are honored and extremely grateful to receive this grant from the Mosher Foundation which will provide critical support for our fledgling Computer Science Academy," Muhl said. "Thanks to this gift, students will now be learning to code though an expanding number of non-elective UC and graduation credit areas that were never available before.”

The Mosher Foundation supports educational programs that make a significant difference in the Santa Barbara community.

“We commend SBHS staff, faculty, and volunteer parents for inspiring this program which will be motivational for many students and will truly make a difference," said Suzanne Birch, education program specialist with the Mosher Foundation.

Richard Johnston, assistant director of the CS Academy, has been a champion of bringing CS education to SBHS for years.

"This grant from the Mosher Foundation has given us an incredible opportunity to share our passion with more students," he said. "It will greatly enhance our ability to make computer science accessible to students from all walks of life — and to shape the future of education at Santa Barbara High School."

To learn more about the CS Academy, click here. To learn more about the Mosher Foundation, click here.

— Felicia Kashevaroff is the publicity chairwoman for the Santa Barbara High School Computer Science Academy.

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