MƒA MASTER TEACHER
Beacon High School
# of years teaching
Arend Thorp structures his technology courses to allow students to discover various elements of computer science. From the basics of how computer hardware and networks work to coding and programming Arduino electronics, Arend focuses on providing creative and thought-provoking projects in a supportive environment. “I make sure my students know that trial and error is a part of learning – it’s how you better understand what you’re doing.” That openness to trying new things plays a key role in Arend’s teaching, especially as he plans to incorporate data analysis and 3D animation to his curriculum.
As an MƒA Master Teacher, Arend has participated in a number of Professional Learning Teams that focus on various elements of computer science. He led the MƒA course, “Robotics – Rise of the Machines,” which looked into ways that robotics can promote problem solving, collaboration, and higher-level thinking. “It was fun to get teachers excited about what’s possible with technology,” he said. “We explored different, engaging ways that they could teach their students about robotics.” To Arend, the power of the MƒA community comes from the educators within it: “I get to work with really motivated, smart people who are exceptionally knowledgeable in their fields and who have incredible pedagogical skills. Collaborating with people like that is truly inspiring.”
Arend earned his B.A. in Anthropology from the University at Albany - SUNY and his M.S. in Biology from the City University of New York. A recipient of a Fund for Teachers grant, Arend traveled to The Anderson Ranch in Snowmass, Colorado in 2015 to research ways to incorporate software skills and electronic components into his computer programming curricula.