June 26, 2022

Homer High student gets perfect score on AP Computer Science test

A Homer Substantial School sophomore didn’t just receive a prime rating of 5 on the Highly developed Placement Pc Science test. That feat on your own set Spencer Kuan Co, 15, in the prime ranks of a couple hundred throughout the world — but Co did even greater.

He bought just about every problem appropriate. That places Co in the elite group of just .29% of all check takers.

The son of Kammi Matson and Kevin Co, Spencer mentioned that when his spouse and children read about the success, “We celebrated for a minimal little bit, for guaranteed. They were being definitely delighted.”

At Homer Higher, Spencer took the AP Laptop or computer Science course taught by Jan Spurkland.

“It’s seriously neat,” Spurkland claimed of Spencer’s ideal score. “And then on prime of that, it’s actually neat to see our local community celebrating tutorial achievements. It’s great to see the highlight on Spencer right here.”

Acknowledging the time force of a standardized test, Spencer spoke like a accurate scientist about how he bought all the responses appropriate — and could have gotten some erroneous. Several of the issues have been many selection, but some confirmed strains of personal computer code exactly where examination takers experienced to analyze the program and say what the output would be.

“There’s so a lot margin for error,” he mentioned. “I necessarily mean, it could have been, with everyone having the take a look at, they could have regarded all the topics and general issues. … There is a whole lot of stress in the instant of the check. You could make a slip-up and get a issue wrong.”

A next component of the check necessary check takers to write a personal computer program. Spencer wrote a drawing software where an individual could make a drawing and then incorporate layers. He wrote that system in course with out any guidance.

“All the strategies are quite straightforward, but there are minimal items like … you click a thing and it fills all the pixels the same colour all around that,” he stated.

Spencer attended Fireweed Academy and Homer Center Faculty before Homer High. He explained he’s shown an fascination in engineering and science for rather a extensive time. He started off understanding on little kits his dad and mom gave him. About age 10, he started using courses with Khan Academy, a around the world on the internet and free of charge instructional platform that incorporates courses on laptop programming. Spencer claimed he finished up using all the courses offered.

“I ongoing programming on there simply because it offers a system in which persons can share the factors they’ve developed with other men and women and collaborate,” he said.

Spencer continued learning computer system programming with Spurkland. While the logic and magnificence of programming applies to all pc languages, Spencer has uncovered Java.

“It’s a world-wide-web dependent programming language,” Spencer stated. “… Exclusively, I use it to make games. I make a good deal of interactive visible simulations.”

AP lessons are regarded as faculty-level classes, Spurkland reported, and pupils can get faculty credit score by passing the class and then the take a look at. The Kenai Peninsula Borough Faculty District offers personal computer application programs like Photoshop, but Homer Significant is one of the handful of universities to supply pc programming. This is the 3rd 12 months Homer Substantial has provided computer system science.

“There’s a force nationwide to introduce our learners in K through 12 to laptop science, and especially computer programming, to attempt to give them the competencies, the way society appears to be to be heading,” Spurkland stated.

Homer Higher bought a grant from the Safeway Education Program to get Raspberry Pi computers. Raspberry Pi is a basis to place affordable, easy computers in the hands of as several college students as feasible. Raspberry Pi operates the Linux working system.

“It’s free of charge and simple and there’s not any problem of crashing the method,” Spurkland reported.

In school, Spurkland discovered the C++ programming language, so to train in Java, the instructor experienced to turn out to be a college student, too. He obtained education as a result of the district and Code.org, a nonprofit educational corporation devoted to growing entry to computer science in educational facilities.

“It’s been a genuinely pleasing exploration alongside with the students,” Spurkland mentioned. “… It is a journey we’re getting jointly. College students say, ‘I really don’t know,’ and I say, ‘I really don’t know, either.’”

Spurkland mentioned he’s locating that could be the ideal way to study.

“Maybe the most amazing way of training and mastering is obtaining those queries together and modeling, ‘I do not know that the remedy is. Here’s a route was can just take and attempt to obtain it,’” he claimed.

Spencer took AP Computer Science past year during the COVID-19 pandemic, when educational institutions had been shut down and college students had to master online or remotely.

“I found I experienced a large amount additional time to myself, and invested myself in personal computer programming,” he stated. “I’ve experienced a great deal more cost-free time, to say the minimum.”

He has been continuing his education also as a result of the Google Code program, wherever he can sign up for golf equipment and take a look at features of programming like internet design and style and coding. Spencer said he strategies to go to faculty.

“I guess my dream university would be MIT (the Masschusetts Institute of Technological innovation), but we’ll see how that goes,” he said.

Spurkland mentioned learners like Spencer give him hope for the potential.

“Spencer is variety of an embodiment of what we like to celebrate at Homer Higher University,” he mentioned. “He’s thoughtful. He’s compassionate. These interactions we have at college encourage me the world is likely to be Okay.”

Attain Michael Armstrong at [email protected]