Enterprise Computer Science teacher Jamie Key works with her students as they develop programs. Pictured, from left, are Ian Gillis, David Covington, Key, Zachary Gayford and Aiden Knox.

The Enterprise Career and Technology Center (ECTC) Information Technology (Computer Science) program gives Enterprise High School students a number of different opportunities to learn about the various fields involved with computer sciences.

The Computer Science program offers Exploring Computer Sciences, which is an intro to computer science where students to scratch the surface with problem solving, learning how computers and humans interact, learning the different components of a computer, web design, programing and data analysis. Students even get the chance to write their own program and install in a small robot.

ECTC also offers two AP level courses that students can earn college credits in. One of those courses jumps straight into programming, while the other course allows students to dive deeper into the topics covered in Exploring Computer Science.

According to Information Technology Teacher Jamie Key, ECTC will be offering an intro to cyber security next year, as well.

“My goal for us is to grow that program side of it so we can help students get certifications in cybersecurity that could lead to them getting really good paying jobs at Fort Rucker when they leave school,” Key said. “That’s the goal, just to give them some experience and teach them workplace skills.”

Another course is for seniors – or underclassmen that have taken two or more other computer science courses – called Career Pathway Project in Computer Science in which students can earn certifications in programming languages. Students also get a chance to job shadow with different businesses in town and then create a real world project based on that experience.

Key, who graduated from EHS, actually began teaching business education but after being offered the opportunity to teach the first computer science course at EHS in 2016, she jumped at the chance.

“My experience was with coding HTML and CSS for web design,” Key said. “They came to me the first year they wanted to offer computer science and asked me if I wanted to teach it. I said ‘Sure,’ and I went to training and fell in love with it.

“I dove in headfirst and there is always something new to learn with technology always changing.”

Key got a chance to tour Facebook’s headquarters a few summers ago and got to talk to interns and employees there and about their experiences in school.

“We got to hear how a tech business operates and works,” she said. “I can bring those types of experiences back and share with my students.”

Key said that she always gives the junior high students in Enterprise City Schools the same message when they come to ECTC to tour the different career tech programs.

“I always tell them that this is their chance to experiment and figure out what they like and what they hate,” she said. “If you take a computer science class and you decided you hate it and this isn’t for you then you have time to take other courses and figure out what you do like, so you don’t waste your time when you get to college.”

Along with continuing to grow the different programs, like cybersecurity, Key said that her goal is to continue getting more female and minority students interested in the program in the future, as well, to bring add more diversity to the workforce in the industry.

“Computer Science is for everyone,” Key said. “Anyone can take these courses, even with no prior computer experience. I cannot think of any industries that do not use computer and technology in some way.”

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