John Glenn High School

John Glenn High School – Walkerton

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Computer Classes Finding Success at John Glenn High School

Writer / Angela Cornell
Photography Provided by JGHS and NRK Media

More than ever before, computers are the way of the future, which is why computer-based career and technical education classes exist to help students learn about the different job possibilities available to them after graduation. Angela Kramer, a math and computer sciences teacher at John Glenn High School, teaches three classes that have become popular among students since they were first offered five years ago.

“I’ve had kids who didn’t even think they were interested in computer science or anything to do with computers, and it just opened their eyes to what’s actually out there as far as professions and careers they can go into,” Kramer says. “It’s a really neat opportunity for the kids to have at John Glenn.”

John Glenn High School

These classes, provided through Project Lead the Way, also count for a graduation pathway or are used as electives, depending on each student’s preference. Each one is two semesters long.

Kramer works very hard to make sure that these classes are not only educational, but also fun. All of these classes are project-heavy, which gives the students in grades 9 through 12 hands-on practice with real-world principles.

“It’s just expanding the information out there to see if you’re interested in it or not,” she explains. “This is not your normal note-taking class. This is a very hands-on, project-based class where you can have all aspects of kids from a very low level to a very high level, and their programs can very depending on their knowledge going into it.”

Students can collaborate on the projects, even though most of the projects are individually submitted. Some of that teamwork even happens between students in different classes.

The first class is called Intro to Computer Science and covers computer essentials, including impacts computers have on society, innovation and more.

“It’s just a vast amount of information with computer science,” Kramer explains. “We do a lot of MIT App Inventor. They make their own apps and I give them different situations where they have to make an app to fulfill that need. You just let them go and see what they can do. Some were very elaborate and some were basic, but they all fulfilled the requirements.”

During this school year, for example, two of the apps that students were asked to build were a game app and an app geared towards emergency situations.

The second class is AP Computer Science, which covers computer principles, taking the foundation laid in the intro class and adding a few more levels to the students’ understanding.

John Glenn High School“We dive a little bit more into how computer science innovations have impacted society ethically, morally and so forth,” Kramer says.

The third class is focused on cyber security.

“This one is really cool,” Kramer says, excitement in her voice. “I really like this one.”

Although the 2021-2022 school year is the first time this class has been offered, it has already been a wild success.

“It is an eclectic curriculum,” Kramer says. “It really dives into all aspects of cyber security.”

Although the first two classes can be taken as standalone classes, the cyber security course will require both computer science classes as prerequisites beginning in the next school year.

Kramer believes that part of the reason why these classes are so popular is that they aren’t required, core classes.

“They choose to take this class,” she says. “They have an interest in it and that’s why they’re taking it. I think that’s an element, too, as to why it works so well.”

Ultimately, Kramer sees this program as a masterful addition to the school’s curriculum.

“We have this opportunity at John Glenn,” she says. “John Glenn is really trying to expand on the kids’ opportunities and this is a great way of doing it.”

John Glenn High School is located at 201 John Glenn Drive in Walkerton. Visit them online at or call them at 574-586-3195.

John Glenn High School

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