South Orangetown Central School District

Members of Tappan Zee High School’s Computer Science Honor Society are teaching virtual computer science sessions for Cottage Lane Elementary School students this week and next as part of extended Computer Science Education Week outreach.

“I love seeing the older kids modeling for younger kids and having them come back and share what they’ve learned in the intervening years,” said CLE Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum who, along with Technology teacher Kim Guzas, is hosting the lessons during Technology classes. “And it’s just wonderful to see former students.”

Yesterday, fourth-graders in teacher Jennifer Grennan’s class learned about variables with TZHS senior and honor society member Olivia Steger. “Variables are among the building blocks for the more advanced programming we do at the high school, so I thought it would be a good place to start,” she said. “When I was a member of Cottage Lane’s FIRST LEGO League team, Mr. Tanenbaum and Mr. Eckert encouraged us to experiment with building and programming our robot. That experience sparked an interest that has continued into high school, where I’ve taken many computer science classes and been involved with the Computer Science Honor Society and SO BOTZ, our FIRST Robotics Competition team. I hope that these sessions inspire students to think about computer science in a new way and give them some insight into the opportunities they’ll have in middle school and high school.”

Founded last year, the Computer Science Honor Society is the newest of the high school’s nine national honor societies. Membership is open to students in grades 9-12 who have completed at least one semester of rigorous computer science coursework. The core values of the Computer Science Honor Society include equity, service, and excellence. This year will be the first year Tappan Zee will induct students. Each member is required to complete 10 hours of service with at least five of these hours to include service related to computer science.

“We are excited to offer students an opportunity to be recognized for their service, enthusiasm for computer science and academic excellence,” said honor society advisor and computer science teacher Karen Connell. “Students look forward to working with other students in SOMS, CLE and WOS. They always add a sense of wonder and excitement and this outreach provides a mutual, meaningful experience for all the participants.” More photos on Instagram.

Fourth-grader waving to student on Zoom