First Name

Thomas

Last Name

Swope

Bio

Tom Swope teaches computer science at Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Over the last four years he has overseen enrollment growth in CS classes from 27 students to over 200 students. During this time female enrollment has increased from just one girl to over sixty. Tom has worked with the district’s transformative curriculum team to develop a K-12 computer science curriculum that ensures all students will be exposed to computer science. He has also proposed and implemented two new computer science courses at the high school level. Visual Programming is a semester long introductory course in which students are introduced to computer science principles using a drag and drop language. Computer Science Seminar is a yearlong post-AP course where students learn how to create iOS apps and then work collaboratively with other students in the class, students from the school’s communication design course, and professionals from the community to design and implement their own apps. Tom has increased student engagement through activities such as taking students to one of the district’s elementary schools to teach 5th graders how to code, starting a student led multi-school programming competition, taking students to the University of Pennsylvania’s Women in Computer Science day for high school girls, and bringing in female and minority professionals from the community to talk to his classes.