Computer Science Education Week- Abigail McDonald
Posted on 12/06/2023
Computer Science Education Week- Abigail McDonaldChattanooga, Tenn. - Abigail McDonald, a Computer Science Teacher at East Hamilton Middle School, is passionate about helping students explore the vast possibilities within the field of computer science.

As Tennessee prepares to implement a new law that requires computer science courses in all middle and high school curriculums, Ms. McDonald is already ahead of the game. Having taught computer science at East Hamilton Middle School since 2009, Ms. McDonald is excited to see all students have access to this coursework.

Isaiah Davis, a former student and now HCS IT employee, spoke about Ms. McDonald’s impact on his life. “Ms. McDonald was my teacher for my second computer class. This was the class that cemented for me an interest and desire to work with computers. From that point forward, I was able to look for opportunities in school to learn more which prepared me for my college computer science classes and now my career. Ms. McDonald and all computer science teachers are making a difference for students like me, by providing space to learn and grow interests into a career.”

Ms. McDonald believes that computer science is not just a skill for the future but an essential tool for success in today's world. In her classroom, Ms. McDonald provides her students with hands-on experience in coding, robotics, and digital design. Her students learn practical knowledge while having fun and being creative. Her work is particularly important for students who may not excel in traditional subjects, as they're given a chance to explore a field that can help shape their future. The confidence these students gain in her class can help them form connections to engage with all learning and their peers.

Additionally, by creating connections between her class and other subjects, Ms. McDonald provides a well-rounded education that engages students in multiple ways. Some projects in her class include programming robots, drawing vector images of historical figures, and presenting research around computer science career paths.

“I enjoy watching students discover solutions to problems using the problem-solving process,” said Ms. McDonald. “Guiding students as they engage in learning essential skills is rewarding. Students are learning valuable, transferable skills that will impact their future job choices, even if they choose a field outside of computer science. I also love watching students with a talent for this work find their space in education and grow their confidence in and out of the classroom.”

Ms. McDonald's impact extends beyond her classroom, having been selected as a CS Ambassador for Hamilton County through "Reach Them All." As a CS Ambassador, she has trained many other teachers in Hamilton County with the tools and techniques she learned as the district works to implement computer science curriculum across the county.

Ms. McDonald’s passion for computer science and digital literacy has inspired countless students to pursue careers in technology, and her commitment to ensuring that all students have access to this vital skill has helped to shape the future of education in Hamilton County and beyond.

Families that are interested in supporting computer science education can visit for free student resources.