4 Fun Computer Science Activities for High School Students
Are you looking for fun, educational computer science activities for high school students? Check out this list of activities right now!
Are you looking for fun, educational computer science activities for high school students? You’ve come to the right place.
Every high school student should become familiar with the basic concepts of computer science, whether or not they plan to pursue a career path in this field.
In this article, we will share tips for getting your child interested in computer science, as well as four computer science activities that are perfect for high school students.
How Parents Can Help Students Develop an Interest in Computer Science
Encourage confidence and perseverance
Computer science skills are becoming increasingly important, yet women remain significantly underrepresented in this field, making up only 21% of computer programmers and 19% of software developers.
Social bias (often unconscious) limits women’s advancement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), especially since girls’ achievements in the field are shaped by the environment around them.
Because of this, it is important that girls be in an environment that fosters the development of confidence in their abilities from a young age, especially if they choose to pursue careers in STE). In addition, exposing girls to female role models with successful computer science careers can help them imagine themselves in those same positions.
Computer science also teaches patience and perseverance, two critical skills for students as they move on to college, career, and beyond.
For example, it can be difficult to write code on the first try but that shouldn’t deter students from participating in computer science activities in the future. Even experienced developers occasionally forget to include a comma or a semicolon in their code, rendering the entire program useless until they find their mistake.
Make computer science fun
It’s important to show students that computer science can be fun, rewarding, and even social.
One of the primary challenges with computer science is the perception that it primarily involves hours of typing behind a computer screen.
It can be difficult to realize the reward of creative freedom a software engineer has—and the impact she can have on her community (and the world) if she chooses.
Give your students the freedom to try various activities to see which area of computer science they enjoy best.
>If possible, bring experienced software developers into your classroom in order to show students that they can make a real difference in the world if they choose to pursue a computer science career.
Four Computer Science Activities for High School Students
Through robotics, high school students are introduced to computational thinking, pattern recognition, and algorithm design, which are all necessary for pursuing a career in STEM.
They use these skills to program their own robots to move, make noise, light up, and follow other instructions.
Students are also challenged to use their creativity and continuously improve upon their robot designs—just like scientists and engineers do every day.
Marlborough is home to an award-winning FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC) robotics program.
Students from all grade levels participate in the construction and programming of robots designed to compete in scrimmages and tournaments.
2. Coding lessons.
High school students can learn to code their own websites, animations, and even video games.
Through this activity, they can learn the basics of multiple programming languages or become proficient in one particular one language.
However, understanding the underlying computer science concepts and applying them to real-world problems is more important than the coding language itself.
For example, in our AP Computer Science class, students dive deep into object-oriented programming with Java, learn industry-standard techniques for testing and debugging, and apply everything they learn to a year-long software project.
3. Building computers.
Students can use premade assembly kits to build their own computers.
It may sound intimidating at first, but building a simple system may take as little as an hour.
Students can then program their computers to do specific things, such as develop apps, build websites, create games, and more!
Building their own computers allows them to understand the technical side of what happens when they write and execute a line of code.
In our computer science classes, we utilize innovative technologies including Arduino microcontrollers and Raspberry Pi mini-computers to give students a better look at computers that are built today.
4. Field trips.
Nothing excites students as much as an opportunity to take a field trip.
Field trips allow students to imagine themselves in the role of a computer scientist or software developer.
Here at Marlborough, we organize annual outreach events and field trips to show our students the real-world applications of STEM education.
By interacting with the local engineering and computer science community, our students understand the value of STEM education and begin imagining themselves in STEM roles in the future.
Why Choose Marlborough
Marlborough is exclusively devoted to the education of young women.
Weaving together engineering, digital arts, robotics, media, academic research, and entrepreneurship, the Shari and Ed Glazer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Marlborough delivers a superior college preparatory education in an environment imbued with high ethical values.
Here at Marlborough, we don’t just teach girls to keep pace with the changing future.
Instead, we teach them to boldly pursue ideas which set the pace for the future.
Your Next Steps
Participating in computer science activities can be very beneficial for high-school-age girls—whether or not they plan to pursue a computer science degree in college.
Want to learn more about the Marlborough experience?
- Skills Spotlight