Brenham High School is redefining what’s possible in rural high schools through innovative efforts to introduce a diverse student population to computer science and have them not just use, but create technology.
In 2013, math teacher Trenton Hall started the first computer science classes, and the district purchased a 3D printer to be used by the students. In 2014, the computer science classes used the 3D printer to create a prosthetic hand for a local boy. Over the last three years, the students have created a total of eight prosthetic hands and arms. They are currently developing a myoelectric arm for a local girl. The opportunity to participate in real-world projects along with a district-wide Hour of Code initiative has inspired a rapid growth in interest in taking computer science classes. The Brenham ISD STEM Advisory Team is exploring ways to enhance STEM education and offer new computer science opportunities throughout the district.
Trenton Hall accepted the award on behalf of Brenham High School. He is a seasoned educator at BHS. After teaching math for ten years, he was inspired by the first Code.org video to ask if he could start a computer science department at BHS. From an initial class of 10 students, the program now has over 80 students. Many of his former students are now pursuing computer science degrees or working in the software industry.