This computer made history – and you’ve never heard about it

Look at your microwave. It has more brain power than the computer that flew Apollo astronauts to the moon. Nonetheless, we are not bound to see microwaves flying spaceships anytime soon. The comparison is to show you how engineers and programmers made use of the little they had back in the 1960s.

This computer continues to affect our everyday life. NASA knew just how hard it would be to control the speed, motions, to make the math that would control the Apollo and how fast the calculations ought to be. Before building rockets, spacesuits or spaceships, engineers and programmers were tasked with designing an Apollo guidance computer. This came days after President John F. Kennedy challenged Americans to go to the moon.

In the Instrumentation Lab, Charles Stark Draper helmed the project. He was regarded as a genius. The lab had a stellar 20-year history of creating sophisticated navigation systems. It was the lab that built the first submarine to navigate the North Pole. As such, NASA concluded that the lab would deliver on the project.

Back then, small computers were the size of fridges, but Apollo’s needed a tiny computer. Additionally, it needed to work instantly and in real time. And the computer ought to have a keyboard and a display unlike conventional computers of those days.

As such, MIT was on the verge of creating the most nimble, portable, and most reliable computer. Besides, it would have to be tested in some of the most challenging situations, such as running a plant. The Apollo computers had two fundamental abilities, decision making and restart in an eyelash in case it shuts down or there is an interruption.

The whole process took a whopping eight years, and the MIT did deliver. They created a computer that had 73 kB memory, small enough, and during the 100 days in space, it experienced no glitch or software error.



Manassas- area Students Awarded Math, Science Scholarships

In a bid to enable these four students further their math and science students, Bull Run Rotary Club awarded them with $10,000 worth of scholarships. The four include:

  • Kaitlyn Agostini

Stonewall Jackson High School

Kaitlyn is an all rounded student with stellar credentials. She was named the most outstanding student in IB math, IB History, IB Spanish, IB Biology, and many more. She also a member of the National Honor Society.

She has also made a mark in sports; she has captained the cross country and indoor and outdoor track. She was also awarded Most Outstanding Player in Cross Country and Indoor Track.

Ranked 5th in a class of 522 students, she plans to attend James Madison University to pursue Mathematics Education.

  • Zachary Nowak

Osbourn High School

He is currently a member of National Honor Society where he was once the secretary. He is also a member of the Math Honor Society and the founder and president of the Math Modelling Club. Zachary was also the captain of Cross Country and Track team.

He has a 4.55 GPA making his the highest ranked in his graduating school. He is set to study Mathematics and Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University this fall.

  • Diksha Jothi

Manassas Park High School

Diksha has numerous roles; he is vice-president of student government, secretary of Math Honor Society, president of the Beta Club and member of National Honor Society. As the president of DECA, his team is placed 20 globally.

He has a GPA of 4.5 and ranked 1st in his class. This fall, he will be attending the University of Virginia to study Computer Science.

  • Mallika Datta

Osbourne Park High School

Mallika is President of Hospital Occupations for Students of America. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Vics-President of Biotechnology Specialty Program and Club.

She is ranked first in her class with a GPA of 4.8. She set to attend Virginia Commonwealth University in fall.






New Legislation Poised to expand Computer Science

New legislation helmed by Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk aims to develop computer science in all schools across the state in a bid to equip the students with the much-needed skills for tomorrow.

To this end, a question was asked, “Why do you think students should study computer science?” this question sparked a discussion in Chinma Uche’s class at the CREC Academy of Aerospace and Engineering in Windsor Thursday.

Since the students have all taken computer science, they saw it as a necessary skill for other students to acquire. “I think computer science should be in all schools because computers are everywhere in this world,” said student Nya Bentley.

“Computer science seems to be becoming a new fundamental skill. You learn, read, write, and soon code,” said Adittya Patil, a student in Uche’s class. The legislation is bound to expand computer science access in kindergartens and 12th-grade schools throughout the entire state.

Chinma Uche, a math and computer science teacher, says that she has seen the growth in interest among her students. “One of the things I saw in my class was students doing what they like and learning while doing it,” she said.

She says that there is a high demand for people with computer science skills. “I have students who graduated from our school and have gone ahead to work for big industries. Some have gone to work on projects for Apple, Google, just because they had a chance to take computer science in this school,” she said.

Some of the main goals in the legislation are to introduce computer science to students early enough. Shannon Marimon, executive director of the Connecticut Council of Education Reform, played a vital role in pushing the bill.



The Key To Computer Science are Teachers, Not Online Courses, Says Governor

Having a teacher in class teaching computer science rather than online courses is crucial in building students’ interest in the course, according to Gov. Asa Hutchinson. He said this during an event Monday, June 10 that celebrated Arkansas leadership in CS.

The event pooled educators from 30 states plus governors of South Carolina and Lowa. During his 2014 race, he vowed to introduce computer science in every school. His inspiration came from a project by her granddaughter, who made an app to run his campaign.

The proposal saw the light of day during his 2015 session. The law requires schools to offer CS either as a math or science credit. To facilitate this, the state provides $5 million every two years. It also includes cash prizes, pays training teachers, and grants for equipment, among other benefits.

Since the passing of the law students taking the course rose from 1,100 to 8,000 while the number of teachers teaching the discipline rose from 20 to 370. 63% of Arkansas schools have a student taking the course compared to 35% of state schools offering it.

This embracing of the course made Arkansas become a leader in student coding movement. And how else to oversee this success than Anthony Owen. He is the state director of computer science, and he was in attendance.

Despite the success, 37% of schools in Arkansas are yet to offer the course since no student is interested. Hutchinson said that it is due to their unbelief that they can’t make it in computer science that keeps them from pursuing the discipline.