Meet CS Teacher Steven

August 30th, 2018

“The look on a students face of surprise and delight when they discover something they had no idea they liked or even existed is what motivates me to be better every day.”

Name: Steven Hensley

School: Oldenburg Academy

Classes Taught: AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A

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

Computer science has become part of the foundation of everything that we do in the world. Not only does CS teach students to analyze and solve real world problems in every possible context, but also how to communicate and collaborate to reach a common goal.

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

The biggest misconception I experience is the belief that CS is only programming, a popular notion to which students and parents alike ascribe. CS teaches so much more than just strict programming. CS is all about problem solving and communicating in a way that accomplishes a defined goal and then being able to take those skills into other areas of life.

What does CS for All mean to you?

To me, CS for All means that every student has equitable access to a high-quality CS education regardless of age, gender, race, religion, language, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, generating creators in a digital economy and tech-driven world.

How have you grown your CS program at Oldenburg Academy?

In the 2017018 school year we offered 1 class of AP Computer Science Principles (CSP) with 10 students. This year, we are offering 3 sections of AP CSP and 1 section of AP Computer Science A. Previously there were no extracurricular CS clubs; however, this year we are hosting a Hack Club after school for any student interested in CS, regardless if they are enrolled in a CS course or not.

What advice would you give another educator if they were trying to grow their CS program?

Student choice and student voice matter! Be consistent, but be open minded! In my experiences, when students feel like their personal interests matter, the level of ownership skyrockets. Because CS pervades every area of education, there is no reason not to include student interests into CS education!

What makes Nextech special?

Nextech believes in inspiring and empowering young people from every background to chase after a career in technology. Not only does Nextech support young people, but they reach out to community members, educators, and industry leaders to best support students in their pursuit of a career in technology.

What has been your favorite memory of working with Nextech?

The people I had the pleasure of meeting through Nextech is one of my most favorite memories. The authentic relationships and connections we made are so special to me!

What has been your favorite memory while teaching CS?

My favorite memory comes from one of my students. She had no experience with computers, didn’t know how they worked, couldn’t type at all, had literally no background in CS, and was utterly terrified to take the class. But we worked together all year and slowly but surely, she grew to love the course! At the end of the year, she told me that she loved this class and wished she could take it again! Side note, she has since enrolled in the advanced computer science course for this year!

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