S A N T A   B A R B A R A   H I G H   S C H O O L
Computer Science Academy

Industry Sector: Information and Communication Technology


Pathway Description

In the Computer Science Academy, you’ll learn how to create apps, websites, and more! You’ll collaborate with other students on real world projects and have the opportunity to use what you learn to help your community. You’ll also go on field trips to tech companies and colleges from LA to Silicon Valley! Through the field trips and our guest speaker program, you’ll learn about the wide range of career opportunities for students with knowledge about computer science. You don’t need to be great at math or using computers to learn computer science; the most important thing is that you are willing to try and give it your best effort!


CS Academy
 Demo Lesson
 Color Picker

Skills Acquired

Students will learn how to:

  • Write, test, debug, and revise code
  • Think critically and creatively
  • Collaborate using industry specific methods
  • Communicate clearly and professionally
  • Plan and complete large coding projects
  • Predict and evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of computing projects on individuals and groups
  • Use their acquired computer science skills ethically and responsibly

Work Based Learning Activities

The main work based learning program in the CS Academy is the Hello World program, which allows students to collaborate and learn in a professional environment while creating a product to help the community. Students develop a software application for a local non-profit with the guidance of a mentor from the local computer science industry. Past projects include an interactive app for an exhibit at the MOXI and iPhone and web based apps for the local non-profit CoASTSB, an organization which relies on volunteers to collect data about our beaches and uses it to plan how to better care for our environment. By participating in Hello World, students learn how to work with a customer and collaboratively design and implement a solution to their problem, all while making a positive difference in our community. Students in the CS Academy have also been able to participate in field trips to software development business locally and in Silicon Valley, such as FaceBook, Invoca, AppFolio, and ProCore.







What surprised me is how easy it was to get going after knowing the basics. I went and wrote out a full story the day we started. I like how fun it is to see your code come to life. It makes you say like,


I built that, and it WORKS

I think that feeling is nice.”
-Cole, 9th grade

“I dance, I read, and I love to code. CS Academy makes me a well-rounded person.”
-Jocelyn, 12th grade

“CS Academy has given me the chance for a great career after high school”
-Erick, 12th grade

"Programming surprised me in how fun it was."
-Shane, 9th grade

“Computers are part of everything that we do, and so we need a wide range of voices to be able to create the future, and the CS Academy really has the opportunity and ability to do that, and they’re doing that well.”
-Adam Gray, Chief Technical Officer at Novacoast (a local tech company)

“Through their guidance I’ve gotten into UCSB--an amazing program there--internships, lots of stuff, and I wouldn't have been able to do that without the Computer Science Academy. They helped me find the direction. They didn’t force me; they helped me do what I wanted to do.”
-Jared, CS Academy alum

“I like the fact the Computer Science Academy makes the high school smaller and has a group of interesting students and teachers. … I really enjoy the projects.”
-Cooper, 9th grade

Student Leadership Group

The CS Academy currently offers three clubs: Maker’s Club, Girls Who Code, and Game Development Club. We also have a Student Leadership Team.

The Maker’s Club seeks to build community and develop leadership through project-based creative design. This inclusive space welcomes makers of all skill levels to learn robotics, 3D printing, design principles, software, and more... This is a fun community for learning more about different areas of computer science and to meet new people.

Girls Who Code promotes girls and women in STEM. The club does outreach to girls in elementary schools, and club members learn about women in STEM fields. Students of all genders are welcome to join.

The Game Development Club welcomes students of all skill levels and backgrounds to learn how to make video games.

The Student Leadership Team meets regularly to give input on and develop ideas for CS Academy activities. In addition to attending and participating in the meetings, leadership team members are expected to be role models for other CS Academy students and be actively involved in extracurricular activities offered by the CS Academy.









Computer Science Academy Courses

Video Overview
of Courses

Course Title and Description Type of Course UC a-g Dual Enrollment 











iOS Mobile Programming (Honors)


Math 3/Precalculus with Python (Honors)   c  
Computer Science English 10 (CP, Honors)   b



*also counts for “c” requirement if the student has completed Math 3













Computer Science Academy Instructors

Sky Adams
Director, Teacher

Teacher of Computational Art, Exploring Computer Science, Designing Software for the Web, and AP Computer Science

Sky Adams joined the SBHS CS Academy staff in 2016 and became Co-Director in 2019. In 2020, Sky became the academy’s first female Director! She teaches Exploring Computer Science, AP Computer Science, and Designing Software for the Web. She earned her B.S. in computer science from Brown University and her Masters of Education from UCSB. Her experience includes work in academia as a researcher in computational biology and in industry as a software developer for a healthcare software company. Sky chose to teach CS because she wants to share her passion for the field and help all students enjoy participating in it. In her free time, Sky enjoys sailing, running, biking, reading, and knitting.


Kyle Stewart

Teacher of Computational Art and Exploring Computer Science, SB Makers Club Coach

Kyle Stewart joined Santa Barbara High School staff in 2018, where he serves as the SB Makers (formerly the Robotics Club) Coach and teaches Computational Art, Exploring Computer Science and Physics. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara and spent 3 years in industry working in software and algorithm development in computer vision for the Toyon Research Corporation in Goleta. After two years of mentoring the programming team at the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, he fell in love with teaching STEM to teens and returned to UCSB to get his teaching credential. He student-taught at the DPEA and then spent 3 years there teaching Software Design and Mechanical Design. He came to Santa Barbara High to follow his son, who was born in 2017 and attends the on-campus day care. In his free time, Kyle enjoys spending time with his friends and family as well as biking, hiking, board games, camping, diving, and rock climbing.


Paul Muhl
Teacher, Former Director

Teacher of Computational Art, AP Computer Science, and Mobile Programming
Paul Muhl currently teaches the CS Academy capstone class, Mobile Programming. He served as the CS Academy’s first Director from 2014-2016, and he now works as Senior Analyst at Toyon Research Corporation in Goleta. For the past 10 years, Paul has worked on developing and running analytical tools and software models, managing people, contracts, and customer relations. He has performed many CS roles for several companies over his professional career, including as a Software Engineer, DBA, System Administrator, and Webmaster. His first post-college work experience, however, was teaching Physics, Computer Science, and Math at Palo Alto High School. Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Arts degree from the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). In his free time, Paul loves to spend time with his family, surf, play guitar, ride motorcycles, and camp.

Richard Johnston
Teacher, Former Director

Teacher of Computational Art, Exploring Computer Science, and AP Computer Science

Richard Johnston began his teaching career in 1993 and has taught Mathematics at SBHS since 1998. In 2008 Richard started the Math Honor Society at SBHS, and he served as a Professional Learning Community Leader for the Precalculus and Calculus Team for two years. Recognizing the need for more opportunities to think computationally while problem solving, Richard pioneered the Principles/Introduction to CS course in 2011. He envisioned a computer science program at SBHS that would open doorways into fields of study ranging from the arts to engineering. Richard assumed the role of Director of the CS Academy in 2016 with the hope of creating opportunities for all students to learn to code, believing that every student needs to be able to read, write, do mathematics, and develop code in the modern world. In 2019, he shared the role of Co-Director with Sky Adams and successfully passed the Director torch on to Sky in the 2020-21 school year.


Joseph Velasco

Teacher of CS English 10 Honors to be offered in 2021-22
Joseph Velasco is a teacher in the English Department of SBHS where he teaches World Literature and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). He is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and has had a long career in the performing arts as an actor, director, and storyteller, including the founding of BOXTALES Theater Company. Joseph uses technology in his classroom to reach students and introduce them to the power of owning their own education. He believes that “Computer coding is a type of literacy, much like learning any language, mathematics, or music. Students who learn to code learn creative empowerment and an ability to break down problems.” In addition to teaching the Honors CS English class, Joseph acts as technology liaison to underserved populations in the Santa Barbara community. In his spare time, Joseph enjoys camping, gardening, rock-climbing, cheering on the Lakers, and participating in full-contact origami tournaments. He continues to attempt to defy the laws of physics whenever possible.

Daisy Moschitto
Administrative Coordinator

Daisy Moschitto began working as a CS Academy parent volunteer in 2014, the academy’s first year, because she was eager to see SBHS add a STEM-related program for its students. In 2016, she took on the role of administrative coordinator to assist the Director and the CS Academy Foundation by providing administrative support, coordinating programs and events, and linking communication between the academy and the foundation. Daisy has a B.A. degree in English Literature from Brown University. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and friends, traveling, hiking, gardening and reading.