New AP STEM classes at 11 Hillsborough schools - WFLA News Channel 8

New AP STEM classes at 11 Hillsborough schools

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Jobs in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM grew three times as fast as non-STEM jobs during the last 10 years. That's according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.  It's one of the reasons Hillsborough County wanted to add more AP courses in the STEM fields.

Back to School: Special Section

For the new 2013-2014 school year 11 Hillsborough County high schools have new AP STEM courses.

"What we really wanted to do was increase the number of STEM courses that were being offered at these schools," said Jazheel Lenegar with Hillsborough County Academic Programs. "AP Computer Science being the one we wanted to push the most, and also increase the number of underrepresented minority students and female students."

Doug Fallin is teaching one of the new AP Computer Science classes at Durant High School in Plant City.

"It's primarily a Java programming class. We start with a very broad overview of what programming is," said Fallin.

The district added an AP Computer Science courses to eight high schools: Durant High School, Gaither High School, King High School, Newsome High School, Plant High School, Robinson High School, Steinbrenner High School and Tampa Bay Technical High School.

Blake High School has a new AP Biology course, and Strawberry Crest High School has a new AP Physics class. Wharton High School now has an AP Calculus class and AP Physics course.

The money for start-up materials, professional development for teachers and classroom resources came from a grant from Google. The AP STEM Access program is funded from that $5 million grant, and it allows 300 schools from across the country to start new AP courses.

Research shows that students who took AP math and science classes were more likely to go on to earn degrees in the science disciplines.

"With computer science, the number of jobs projected to be available far exceed the number of those expected to get a degree," said Fallin.

Perhaps these AP courses in the STEM fields will help the jobs of tomorrow be filled by our students of today.

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