Tag Archives: Computer Science

Programming course allows students to learn more about technology

By Aidan Bowen and Damian Pimentel

Staff Writers

At Summit Tahoma, there are two levels of programming courses; Intro to Programming is the second course in the sequence (which begins with Video Game Programming).

In Intro to Programming students are learning how to use the coding language to create and build digital websites, programs and even artificial intelligence. The instructor, Matthew Hesby, teaches his students the language and how to apply it to something they are creating. “It may be seem hard or overwhelming, but eventually many of those same students went off to college to study in computer science,” he said.

Programming has its own language it uses; code consists of normal letters and words but arranged in a way to make the computer be able to read it and make something happen.

“I want to work in the technological workspace so knowing how to code will definitely be important for that,” Tahoma sophomore Herschel Marcelo said.

See below for a video about the Intro to Programming course:

Video Game Programming teaches students the basics of coding

By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico and Karla Tran

Staff Editors

In Video Game Programming, students use coding to create their own video games; they get to make and play their own games! This course specifically introduces various coding software to students so that they can understand those tools at an in-depth level. Video Game Programming is the course taken before taking Intro to Computer Programming, and it prepares students for what is to come in the advanced course.

Matthew Hesby, the Video Game Programming Expeditions instructor, teaches students how to use special elements and codes to operate and run a video game. Students in this course learn how to code and create video games of their own; they can then play the games they made in class.

Mr. Hesby said, “[In] the Video Game Programming Expedition, we start off with a program called Scratch [where] students make programs using that, and then we switch over to a program called Fazer; afterward they use Javascript, and then students are able to choose from there which one they want to use going on. It’s a lot of work time; students are sitting down, making stuff, building.”

He continued: “Students don’t just program; they also have to draw out their sprites like: coming up with dialogue, coming up with stories and brainstorming what their games are going to be about.”

Rainier freshman Mark Solomita said, “[Video Game Programming] is interesting because it’s fun to see other people’s creations, and you find out what you could do with the knowledge you have with making video games; you don’t know your capacity when it comes to programming, but then you find out what you can do and it’s really satisfying to see your final product.”

See below for a video about the Video Game Programming course:

Intro to Programming Expeditions course helps further students’ knowledge

By Deandra Han, Jennifer Rico and Karla Tran

Staff Editors

Intro to Programming gives students the freedom to explore new skills in coding; it is the advanced version of Video Game Programming offered to sophomores and up. Students in this class get to learn how to use codes to instruct a computer to do a certain task.

Rainier sophomore Lam To said, “The Intro to Computer Programming class is usually [a] similar format for each interval. [Mr. Hesby] has some checkpoints for us to do which we have to complete to get the basics of what the project is and then, after that, we customize and use what we learn to make something new. So it’s a lot of freedom and a lot of picking your own projects.”

Matthew Hesby, the Intro to Computer Programming Expeditions teacher, said his class consists of a lot of work time, reading and writing. During class, students need to be constantly researching online in order to complete their projects.

“In Intro to Programming, we do three projects that are web-development-based, so we start off with HTML and CSS, and then we add in Javascript. The fourth project we do is a competitive AI game where the students program their own AI and then they plug it into the game so that the AIs all kind of fight against each other,” Mr. Hesby added.

See below for a video about the Intro to Computer Programming course:

Course shows students the basics of programming

By Jenny Hu

Staff Writer

The Expeditions course Intro to Programming teaches students how to program with JavaScript, HTML and CSS with a focus on web development. For the first three Expeditions rounds, students focus on web development, and, in the last round, they do a fun and competitive A.I. game.

Intro to Programming teacher Matthew Hesby said students “gain a lot of skills around being self-directed, looking things up, learning things on their own, asking for help and dealing with being frustrated and struggling with learning something that’s new to a lot of them.”

Mr. Hesby also added, “Students should take Intro to Programming if they have even a little bit of interest in programming. But they should also go into it knowing that it’s a class where there’s a lot of work that needs to be done.” This course is a UC-approved course; it is designed for sophomores and up.

When asked whether this course would be challenging for students, Shasta sophomore Vincent Chu said, “This course challenges your mind to think of creative ways to solve a test or programming … If you don’t work enough in class, the workload can be quite heavy. However, it is mostly how you use the class time.”

See below for a video about the Intro to Programming course:

Course teaches students what it takes to make video games

By Jenny Hu

Staff Writer

The Expeditions course Video Game Programming provides the chance for students to use Scratch or Phaser (2D game engines) to learn Blockly and Javascript and to design their own video games on their own computers. For their projects, students come up with their own video game stories, animations and dialogue.

Video Game Programming teacher Matthew Hesby explained that in the two weeks of each Expeditions round, there has to be a lot of hard work and dedication put into students’ video games because they make the best of what they have. Mr. Hesby said students should be proud of what they create because there are students who are “really passionate about programming or […] drawing and animating” and who team up to make “some really top-tier high-quality games.”

Mr. Hesby said students should take this course “if you are the type of student that just wants to make stuff, wants time to sit and draw and program.” He said “it’s a great class for those who have an idea of what they want to create.”

When asked how this course helped her overall as a student, Shasta freshman Marisa Leong answered that it was helpful with “expressing a lot of my creativity because we make our own games.”

For Celebration of Learning, Video Game Programming is going to have their games up in an arcade so that people who come to support students can play them.

See below for a video about the Video Game Programming course:

Students master the fundamentals of programming

By Sam Gurdus

Staff Writer

In Matt Hesby’s Intro to Programming course, students gain fundamental skills used to complete their projects for the class. Students create computer-generated artwork, an artificial intelligence, and everything in-between.

Most recently, students created AIs to compete against each other in a game. Mr. Hesby explained the importance of learning programming: “In the future, more and more jobs are going to require people to know how to program.” He believes these skills are valuable, especially so because of our location in Silicon Valley.

See below for a video on the course:

Business Expeditions wrap up the year with Celebration of Learning presentations

By Eliza Insley

Staff Writer

Celebration of Learning is an annual showcase of all the work done in the Expeditions courses. These three Expeditions, Internship, Entrepreneurship, and Computer Science, all explore different aspects of business.


During the Internship Expedition, sophomore and senior students have the opportunity to do an off-campus internship for local organizations and then give a presentation discussing their experience and skills learned. These internships let students explore their interests in a variety of work environments, get ideas about what they want to pursue in college or as a career and gain work experience.


Summit Prep seniors Jacyn Schmidt and James Bamford explain how they got to experience both being out in nature and being in an office environment during their internship at the United States Geology Survey.


Jesse Uiterwijk, a Summit Prep sophomore, talks about his internship at San Jose Jazz and what the organization does.


Summit Prep senior Tom Chu talks about his daily schedule and commute to his internship at the Midpen Media Center.


Entrepreneurship is another one of the Expeditions courses offered at Summit Prep. Here, students learn real-life business skills such as creating a presentation, making a product or crafting a business plan. Entrepreneurship teacher Aaron Calvert accomplishes this by placing students in real-world situations, such as pitching an idea to potential investors (a similar experience to that of  the TV show Shark Tank).

Students in this course can apply the skills they learn to other careers or jobs, which helps them branch out to other possibilities.


Joel Kestelyn, a sophomore at Summit Prep, explains his business called 4D Calligraphy to parents visiting Summit’s Celebration of Learning.


Summit Prep freshman Victor Aguilar-Mendoza explains the shoe business he calls Fuji Chancla to Summit Prep teacher Michael Green. Aquilar-Mendoza said, “My business is making chanclas that are good for the environment and comfortable but also fashionable.”


Dariana Pacheco and Mimi Moore are freshmen who paired up to create a business called EGs, which is short for Electronic Gadgets. Moore said, “Everything we do here is to create opportunities for ourselves that will get us through real-life situations.” Pacheco said, “The skills here can be applied to a lot of jobs or careers. Especially with so many options to choose from in the world, this kind of helps with narrowing it down.”


Luke Desmarais and Max Moeller, Summit Prep freshmen, introduce the product they named MirrorCam. Desmarais said, “We made this product to make sure the driver can have a 360-view when they’re driving. This makes driving safer because we are in cars almost every day of our lives and this eliminates blind spots, which are dangerous.”


Esteban Ramirez, a sophomore at Summit Prep, presents his product called Hoods. Ramirez said, “My product is that hoods on your jacket or sweater or whatever – you have a camera lens that can take photos or videos.”


Juan Hernandez, a Summit Prep senior, gives an introduction to a clothing brand he named Distinctive World.

Computer Science

During Computer Science, students learn how to use Cloud9, a JavaScript program, and Scratch to develop different programs. This course gives an beginning look at programming, allowing students to expand their skills and pursue a possible career path.

Matt Hesby, the Computer Science Expeditions teacher, said his original plan was for the course to be open only to sophomores and above; however, “we needed a class that was a little bit more accessible, a little bit more something that students can come in, start getting their hands on programming a little bit and find a way to connect with it.”

Mr. Hesby said this year’s class has a lot of freshmen, and he designed the class for that audience. “Literally it was just to tap into that interest in video games, but give them that as the avenue for beginning to learn the program. So that those students who reach into it and really find that part of it is really enjoyable and really fun, kinda run with the programming and keep going with it.”

Summit Prep Computer Science students showcase their finished programs to an audience of friends and family. 

Here’s a look at the Computer Science displays during Celebration of Learning: 

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 Staff Writers Daneyah Penisini and Alexis Sanchez contributed to this article. 
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