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5 schools helping students crack code

Catlin Gabel

CATLIN GABEL ANDREW MERRILL COMPUTER SCIENCE
Catlin Gabel computer science teacher Andrew Merill works with students in class.

 A computer science class at this private K-12 school teaches students to build websites and apps. Working on real world projects inspires kids to learn, says Andrew Merrill, who started teaching the class 15 years ago.

"Suddenly they have a reason to learn math," Merrill says. "They come up to me and say, 'Teach me trigonometry. I need it now.' That motivation is powerful."

By the numbers: About 65 high school students are enrolled in the class, and coding is making its way into the elementary school curriculum.  "We're trying to make it something every student learns and that's where we're going," says Merrill. "But it's a long road."

Success story: "I've got former students who are now working at Facebook, Google, Amazon. They're on the roster of the big tech companies that hire the best tech graduates in the country," Merrill says.


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