Son inspires dad to school students in computer science
Ralph Case, a project manager at DELL and long-term volunteer with TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools), has helped teach dozens of students and three new computer science teachers in Washington State high schools over the past three years. TEALS relies on industry volunteers from more than 400 companies to co-teach computer science with classroom educators across the country. Ralph has witnessed how volunteering can change the trajectory of young people’s lives and open up an entire world of opportunity.
When my son was a senior in high school, he took a computer science class and struggled. He had worked with computers before, but computer science was different, and not what he expected. He and I would spend time together going over the material, and as we walked step-by-step through the concepts, I could see my son gaining a better understanding of computer science.
He told me, “Dad, you’re really good at explaining this. You should volunteer and help other students, too.” I had thought about how I could help more young people be introduced to computer science, a subject that’s just as (if not more) important than other core topics like biology or music or French because it opens doors for young people—regardless of whether or not they pursue it as a career.
Yet it’s difficult to fill computer science teaching jobs with people who are truly knowledgeable, and fewer than half of all high schools in the US offer computer science classes, so I knew I could contribute. The fall after my son encouraged me, I began volunteering in an AP computer science classroom through TEALS. The time and energy I’ve invested in classrooms over the last three years has helped fill the computer science teaching gap. I continue to be inspired by the young people and teachers I have helped teach.
Ralph Case Dell
TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools)