Morgan’s Amazing Computer Class

AP Computer Science Principles Offered at Morgan


Cameron Johnson

Nolan Sullivan practices coding.

Cameron Johnson, Reporter

Computers practically run our life each and every day. Whether it’s our handheld computer that we use to talk to our friends and family, the Chromebooks we use in school, the consoles we use to play video games, or the screens we use to watch our shows. They may all have different names, but they all function in similar ways.
Here at Morgan, we offer a course titled AP Computer Science Principles, taught by technology teacher Jessica Mularski. CollegeBoard Computer Science Info Page This class was first offered 3 years ago. Mrs. Mularski started teaching the class because she knew Morgan didn’t have any Computer Science program, but it was one of the biggest and fastest-growing fields in the world. “I always like to teach things that I think are going to help people and I like everything to have real-world applications.”
Mrs. Mularski couldn’t just declare she was going to teach the class with no prior knowledge. She had taught technology classes and had a degree in English, but in order to know everything she needed to teach the class, she had to go through some extra training. Her experience goes as follows, “I got flown to Arizona for 5 days by for grueling training. I had 10 hours per day training where they taught me how to teach the AP Computer Science course.” That training didn’t teach her everything there was to know about computers, however. A lot of her knowledge comes from things she has taught herself and picked up on her own.
Initially, learning and teaching the course came difficult to Mrs. Mularski because there was so much to know. With all technology, you have to debug(fix) and troubleshoot things, and this applies to all of the classes she teaches. There is so much to know about technology, and I think that’s the fun part of it. The material was a lot harder to learn than other tech classes, but over time she grew more and more accustomed to it.
This course is an excellent class to take for anyone in the school. Mrs. Mularski said it plain and simple, “AP class, no homework, it’s the easiest AP class you can take. It looks awesome for colleges. I think it’s super interesting and it’s a new way of thinking that you probably haven’t done before but at the same time it’s gonna be super important for everything you do in life.” The benefits are amazing, and there are hardly any downsides. Starting from the first few days, you learn the very basics, so people with prior computer experience, and those without all learn at a similar pace.

Recently, Mrs. Mularski flew to Miami, FL to see the real-world application of what she is teaching in her class. She spoke to professionals about the important aspects of the course and what she should highlight in the course that will help the students when it comes time for them to apply what they learned. She had to ensure that what she was teaching was what she should be teaching. She also learned about cryptocurrency, NPR’s, among other things she was able to share with the students when she returned.

Connor Levy presenting. (Cameron Johnson).

One student currently taking AP Computer Science is senior Nolan Sullivan. Nolan had very minimal experience with computers going into the course and had no idea what to expect to learn. Nolan decided to take the class because he knew it would be important in his future.

Nolan desires to follow a career path that branches from computer science (Data Science). “Data Science, it’s kinda like using algorithms to solve real-world problems, with logistics and statistics. It’s about interpreting data. I would figure out the issue with something, then communicate it to a computer engineer, who then codes and fixes an issue.”

His career isn’t the only reason why he signed up, however. “I took this class to broaden my understanding of the subject and to learn more about coding because I know that this knowledge will be useful when I have a technical issue in life.” Nolan says that the class is definitely challenging but in a good sense. “It’s like learning a new language because words and symbols sometimes have different meanings.”

Right now in the class, Nolan mentioned that they are learning about lists in code and how they are interpreted. Lists are a way that computers store information within code. Over the course of the year, they have learned the basics of code and how computers function by communicating with different things such as servers and the internet.

The graphic below compares the score of Morgan student’s AP scores compared to the rest of Connecticut and beyond. All of the previous classes statistically have better scores than the rest of the students taking this exam.

AP Exam score graphic

During the 2021-22 year, there was not as big of a turnout as there had been in previous years. Only 8 students, all-male, participate in the class this year. Computer Science is one of the fastest-growing professions in the world, and there will always be a need for more.

If you don’t want a career in the field, having the knowledge you will gain from taking this course will greatly benefit you throughout your life. So, if you are filling out your classes for the 2022-2023 year, consider taking Mrs. Mularski’s AP Computer Science Principles.