Get to Know Educator Evan

May 8th, 2018

“It’s critical that young learners study computer science to learn how to address the issues that face our society today and years from now.”

Teacher: Evan Snyder

School: Clay Middle School

Subject: Intro to Computer Science

How would you explain computer science to someone is completely unaware of the subject? 

Computer science is the study of how a computer works and how computers (big and small) can help with problem solving, whether by making life easier with quick research, or programming calculations that send astronauts into space. The possibilities are endless!

Why do you think it is important for students to take Computer Science courses?

It’s critical that young learners study computer science to learn how to address the issues that face our society today and years from now, when they enter the adult world. Career fields are constantly evolving and including more technology. Without a generation of students with skills needed to tackle these challenges, society will face more than just shortages of knowledgable workers.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

Teaching has always been natural to me. I genuinely want others to know more and be able to do more to reach their potential. That’s what my teachers did in high school with me, no matter how little motivation I had to do my homework.

If you weren’t a teacher, what other career or job would you like to pursue and why?

If I had the chance to hit the reset button, and had access to CS like kids do today, I like to think I would’ve gone into computer science and developed video games. Instead, I just play them now!

What is your favorite movie and why?

My favorite movie is probably Saving Private Ryan. WWII has also been my favorite area of study, and my bookshelf is still chock full of WWII books from high school and college.

Tell us about a favorite teacher you had.

All my favorite teachers were social studies teachers (it’s where I started out as an educator too!). One in particular, Mrs. Ross, was my 6th grade social studies teacher. She was kind-hearted, understanding, patient, and interesting. She has a passion for children and that made my time in middle school much more positive.

If you could correct one misconception about Computer Science, what would it be? 

That kids nowadays, although considered “digital natives,” are naturals with computers and don’t need education and training on them. This misconception is dangerous and brushes off the need for trained teachers to provide high-quality direction for eager learners. Just because they’ve grown up in a world of technology does not mean that these kids don’t deserve the chance to learn more and do more with technology. They still need to learn these skills, just as they have with math, english, and other contents for decades now.

What does CS for All mean to you?

CS for All is an opportunity for more children to be exposed to a skill they might not otherwise know about or consider to be an uninteresting field. The students that are interested in CS are probably going to get in the field anyway, with or without CS for All, but the students that don’t have an innate interest might not have ever had the chance to play around with basic programming. By introducing it to all students, more will become interested and more will enter the field to fulfill the technological needs of our modern society.

Please tell us about a hobby or interest you have?

I play video games – a lot of video games. It’s a nice way to bond with other gems at my middle school. Currently, I’m playing a lot of Rocket League, Sunset Overdrive, and Mario Kart 8.

What is your favorite holiday and why? 

My favorite holiday is probably Thanksgiving. I only get to eat that collection of food once a year and I look forward to it each and every time.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

When others first meet me, those people might be surprised to know that I’m heavily an introvert. I like to say I’m an introvert that’s good at being extroverted. But being around people doesn’t recharge me; reading in a quiet room, or playing video games alone is what recharges my batteries. It’s a wonder I’m a teacher.

If you could have one superpower, what would it would be and why?

I’d have the power to control time, both backwards and forwards.

What makes Nextech special? 

Nextech provided a very positive learning experience for me and my colleagues. It was nice to learn in that environment and develop relationships with other CS teachers around the state.

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