AOIT program entices students to join


Photo by Naeha Muralikrishnan

Junior Carolyn Fu practices for her mock interview for AOIT after school on Feb. 15.

Introduced to school in 2005, the Academy of Information of Technology (AOIT) is a program designed to acclimate students into careers in technology. The program has a current total of 268 students. 

Although students who know they do not want to pursue a career in computer science may believe that their future career does not involve computer science at all, the field might be more relevant than they think. An increasing number of industries are starting to incorporate technology. 

Technology is a field that permeates all aspects of students’ daily lives. A recent example is ChatGPT, an AI service with an automated response system that can solve math problems or provide instructions for cooking. “Just about every facet of life now involves computer science in some way. It is worth the time for all students not just to be computer literate but to also have a deeper understanding of computer science,” technology teacher and AOIT coordinator James Turner said. 

It is common to think that AOIT is a program only for students who are planning on focusing on computer science as a career, but it can be used to prepare for other fields as well. According to the University of Wisconsin Madison, students that major in computer science usually pursue a double or triple major. Students pair it with majors such as statistics, electrical engineering or economics. 

According to Turner, AOIT is available at only four other schools in MCPS. Members of the program stand out when applying for college and have been exposed to a level of content that is not found in other places. “Upper level programming courses prepare and expose students to computer science concepts that the majority of their peers coming from other high schools have not experienced,” Turner said. 

AOIT has three pathways, giving students the opportunity to select what is of interest to them. The programming pathway, which holds the majority of the members, teaches students object oriented programming and data structures while building problem solving skills. The networking pathway teaches students about the internet, cyber security and students will even learn how to build their own computer. The web development pathway has students learn about how to create and design responsive web pages. “I enjoy learning about all the hardware components of a computer such as routers and switches, so that’s why I chose the networking pathway,” junior Jay Gulati said.