New CTE Classes added for 2019/2020 school year

Brynn Aaronson and Sofia Williams

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Cybersecurity Class

After 13 years of teaching at ETHS, Gary Haller will finally add a class to his schedule that he has been interested in for years: Cybersecurity.

“[Cybersecurity] is something that I’ve been looking at for a number of years, trying to find a good curriculum that we could use, but I really hadn’t found anything until the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) came up with a cybersecurity curriculum. I looked at it and it really had everything that I was looking for,” Haller said.

Haller teaches many classes at ETHS, including AP Computer Science Principles, Introduction to Programming, Game Design Programming, and the Information Technology internship class in the Chromezone. Starting in the 2019-2020 school year, he will be teaching Cybersecurity as well.

“The thing about cybersecurity is that it’s an applied field of computer science. It brings together a lot of different pieces of computer science,” Haller said.

The year-long class teaches the ethics of cybersecurity, how to secure personal computers, networking and digital forensics.

“It’s done with a lot of hands on scenarios… and you have to apply the various tools and techniques that you’ve learned throughout the course,” Haller explained.

To be able to take this class, you need to have taken an AP Computer Science course, but students with outside experience (for example, setting up their own computer) can also receive special permission.

“I think the computer science classes here at ETHS are an underdiscovered resource, and I’m hoping more and more students will look at computer science as a potential career field or as a way of building skills to support whatever career they’re going in. Being able to apply the tools of computer science will help students no matter what career they’re going into,” Haller said.

Engineering Design and Development Class

Along with seven other engineering classes offered at ETHS, Cindy Curtis has added Engineering Design and Development to the lineup.

“It’s a capstone course, offered for senior students who have at least taken one Project Lead The Way class, in our engineering sequence,” Curtis said.

While Engineering Design and Development is set to become the eighth engineering course available for students, the class differs from others by allowing students to actually be engineers in class.

“[This class] allows the student to take a problem or an issue…and see that problem and solve it through a process of design. Kids will identify a problem, brainstorm solutions to the problem, develop some sort of solution that they’re going to try, prototype it, test it out, collect data, [and] evaluate it,” Curtis explained. “[They’ll] go back and make new renditions of it, if there was something in their data that didn’t come through, and then they will present their findings to a team of engineers [at the end of the year].”

With the responsibility of actually creating a product, there is a lot of work to be done.

“A big part of it will be research; they’ll have to research ‘Are there any patents on the design? Are there any prior solutions? Has anybody ever come up with a process they maybe want to innovate or change?’ So it allows students to really feel what it’s like to be put in a situation to solve a problem, and be empowered to actually solve it.”

Even if students don’t plan on becoming engineers, the class is still valuable.

“You will need to solve problems whether you are an engineer, a lawyer, a computer scientist, a doctor, and to be able to effectively brainstorm and try ideas, and be able to take a failed solution [and] overcome that, and be able to redesign, refine, in order to have a workable solution…You don’t have to want to be an engineer to be successful.”

Note to readers: Advanced Fashion is also a new CTE class for next year and will be featured in the next issue.