Bus Tour Gives Computer Science Students Insight into Careers

Raven. Submitted photo.

Game Programming Course to Debut Next Year

An annual Computer Science Awareness Tour is the highlight of the year for students taking IT courses at Marshfield High School.

“Planning the bus tour is a year-long pursuit as I’m always looking for unique experiences that show students what IT and Computer Science look like in the real world,” said Charles Treankler, Business & Information Technology instructor.  “It’s important to note that our students are provided with career connections throughout the year due to the generosity and support of business and industry in our local communities. Students are surprised by the number of opportunities that exist in Marshfield and the Central Wisconsin Region.”

On the bus tour students are taken to at least two businesses to catch a glimpse of what a future could look like in these industries. In early January, the bus took the group of 35 students in grades 9-12 to Raven Software in Middleton, WI, which helps develops the Call of Duty video games and Epic Systems Corporation in Verona, WI, which develops software used in healthcare.

Epic. Submitted photo.

“The tour guides and working professionals are always phenomenal with our students,” he said. “Talking and listening to young working professionals who were in high school relatively recently really engages our students, and they’re able to relate to and appreciate what recent college grads have experienced in landing that first big job.”

Students have varied interests in the field and were intrigued by the behind-the-scenes look at company operations.

“At Raven, it was interesting to see how they create some of the classic action scenes in the Call of Duty series by using actual stunts and having it monitored,” said senior Andrew Ujda, who enjoys coding and problem-solving.

“I learned that workplaces like Epic are a lot more laid back and creative then you would think, with creative decorations and activities around the buildings,” said senior Tiernan Meyer, who’s interested in game design.

“I really liked Epic’s themed campus and how they emphasized a free-flowing, creative atmosphere,” said Nikita Gonugunta, senior. While not interested in the Computer Science field, she believes knowing the basics of programming and software will help her to understand the topic of robotic surgery as part of her future career path.

“I learned how game making is more than just code. It involves a multitude of actors and prep,” said Joshua Grissman, freshman. He wants to use the combination of programming and science to develop solutions to modern day problems.

Next year, students will have the opportunity to take a semester-long Game Programming class, which made the visit with game developers all the more fitting.

“Game programming is a part of the growing number of Computer Science related jobs being forecasted for the next 20 years,” said Treankler. “The gaming industry continues to grow and many teens and adults have been passionate gamers for years. Our students are no exception. The new game programming class was created to provide the experience for teens to get a taste of the math, logic, and computing skills needed to build the games they’ve been playing for years.”

Game programming also helps students gain a deeper understanding of computer programming and explore a possible career path before paying any tuition.

The semester class is open to students who have completed the AP computer programming course or AP Computer Science Principles. Programmers will learn about video game development, animation, and app development. The project-based course gives students a chance to design their own game and learn what it’s like to be a game programmer today.



News Desk
Author: News Desk