An intriguing four-letter acronym began ap- pearing around the school several months ago. A new group of parents was also formed. We already had Friends of the Arts and Friends of Sports. Now we have Friends of STEM. It is not a new curriculum that we are proposing to our students, nor is it a new slogan.
It is a new path that our school must take.
For many years, our school has positioned itself at the
forefront of pedagogical technical innovations: the first
smartboards appeared in the science classrooms, then
in the other departments. Three years ago, the school
launched an ambitious program employing the iPad in the
classroom, using the most innovative applications, and developing FLIP classes. Our school, more than many others,
has developed a strong technological expertise. However,
we must go further.
In September, two new elements appeared in the school
environment : the creation of a science club open to students in the lycée and the college, all sections integrated,
and the introduction of a Python and Java computer programming class.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg. What do they
have in common? They are all champions of computer science. It is difficult to understand why pedagogical programs
all over the world have not grasped, and for quite some
time, the importance of offering computer language instruction before now. Today, this instruction is slowly beginning
to take place in school curricula, but it is often on the sidelines of classic scholastic teaching. And yet we are speaking
of language, which should resonate not only with scientists,
of course, but also with those who are devoted to the arts.
These languages possess a vocabulary, a syntax, a grammar,
and even a history.
The beginning of the 80’s witnessed the birth of micro
computer science. A black screen and a white cursor. We
filled that black screen with lines of code which were enigmatic to the uninitiated. The languages in fashion then were
BASIC, PASCAL, TURBO PASCAL, FORTRAN (still very
strong), and C++. We saved our work on cassettes, then on
Many young people back then threw themselves wholeheartedly into the study of these languages. But since computer programming was excluded from school curricula,
this took place during the afterschool hours, with the help
of a few enthusiasts (at times, teachers).
A new path our school must take.
JULIEN ASTRUC | HEAD OF DEPARTMENT, SCIENCE