AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A is a programming class. The course emphasizes object-oriented programming methodology, especially problem solving and algorithm development, plus an overview of data structures and abstraction. The AP Computer Science A exam tests students on their knowledge of Java.

AP Computer Science Principles

AP Computer Science Principles offers a multidisciplinary approach to teaching the underlying principles of computation. The course will introduce students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, the Internet, cybersecurity concerns, and computing impacts. AP Computer Science Principles also gives students the opportunity to use current technologies to create computational artifacts for both self-expression and problem solving. Together, these aspects of the course make up a rigorous and rich curriculum that aims to broaden participation in computer science. See Crash Course Computer Science for more details.

Introduction to Computer Science

Computer Science offers students the opportunity to explore 6 major topics. Applied Computer Technology: SDP is a Google School District. Google much like Apple, Microsoft and a host of other companies product lines allow their users to get much of their computer tasks done. Most packages include web browsers, word processors, spreadsheets, presentation tools, email, cloud storage, and many other tools. We will explore the google tools most High School students use today as well as look into alternative options and explore into other less known tools. Internet Safety and Ethics: Do you know how to keep yourself safe online? Are you paranoid, or putting too much information about yourself for the world to see? How aware are you that what you do online does matter? HTML/CSS: The past decade has connected people online to a once fictional level of communication. The World Wide Web is a front end to many of our online lives. Learning how to design and put together websites is a skill that all computer users may benefit from. HTML allows developers to write websites and CSS allows developers write beautiful websites. Javascript: Once a developer can represent themselves online with HTML and CSS they may then start writing websites that DO things. Javascript is a light yet powerful tool that may introduce students to the world of programming. Students may explore other systems and languages as the course progresses.


My name is Erik Wiessmann. I have been teaching in Philadelphia for 13 years. I am a teacher at The Academy at Palumbo a magnet school in south Philadelphia. I am certified in Mathematics, Physics, and Business Technology. I am also a Level 2 Certified Google Educator. I am teaching 5 sections of Computer Science for the 2019-2020 school year. I love my job. I run a lot, and mentor students running marathons. I encourage project based learning in my classroom. If you are human you should email me:


Coded By Kids
"Coded by Kids is committed to providing free tech education, tech industry exposure and career mentorship to children who lack access to these opportunities. Our programs are designed to help our students achieve success by providing them with a combination of real world tech skills and access to a support system of mentors with experience in the tech industry."-source
STARS Computing Corps at Temple
"STARS Computing Corps at Temple is a student run organization with a mission to engage primary and secondary students throughout the Philadelphia School District in Computer Science related studies."-source
Bob Moul
"Bob Moul Philadelphia tech CEO / entrepreneur with 30 years' experience ranging from startups to Fortune 50 companies. Active advocate for driving tech innovation and entrepreneurship in Philadelphia: President of Philly Startup Leaders. Mentor to numerous startups."-source
"ChickTech Philadelphia is dedicated to retaining women in the technology workforce and increasing the number of women and girls pursuing technology-based careers. ChickTech is a multigenerational community of women and girls helping each other become technology creator. We facilitate hands-on technology-centric events to empower, support, and increase the confidence of women and girls."-source
Linode is a virtual private server provider that is based in Philadelphia, PA.
"We love technology and helping our customers - we get excited about computers and we love programming. We live to solve problems, code software, and make cool stuff happen. And, we love to share our creations with others.
This has been our philosophy since Linode was launched in June of 2003 by founder Christopher S. Aker. Initial development took about 6 months. Linode was ahead of its time and helped define the cloud hosting industry, and continues to be a leader in virtualization hosting."-source



We use the following software packages and tools during the school year.


Students Runs Palumbo Style


Palumbo has been involved with Students Run Philly Style for about a decade. We regularly have over 70 participants for the Broad Street Run and around 40 participants at The Philly Marathon Weekend events.


Read some of our graduates college personal statements reguarding Students Run Philly Style.
☰ Essay 1

“Why do you keep coming back?”

Every Saturday of high school, my Students Run Philly Style team would meet at Lloyd Hall at 8 am for our long-run practices. At 5 am, I would wake up and take two buses and a train to get there. But this 18-mile practice was different. Every minute of it felt like an eternity. At the halfway point, my coach joined me while I was running.

“So why do you keep coming back to run?”

His question hit me.

As I processed his question, I felt lost. A lump was forming in my throat as I was trying to hold the waves of emotion inside. I already knew the answer in the back of my head. I did not want to be a burden to my team. I did not want them to wait for me for hours after they finished. I have finished every race I have started, but I finished slower than the other members of my team, which always troubled me.

The first marathon that I ran was in my sophomore year of high school. I trained throughout the summer of my freshman year while the team explored all corners of Philadelphia. After I finished a 20-mile qualifier, I skipped many practices because I thought I already met the requirement for the marathon weekend. On the day of the marathon, however, I felt very anxious. At the starting line, I realized, Wow, I am here. This is happening for real. I am proud of myself.

At mile thirteen, fatigue started to settle in and my enthusiasm waned as people ran past me. Why am I cramping? Why did I not practice more? Why am I here? Fifteen, I wanted to give up. Suddenly, I felt a cramp in my calves. Despite the pain, I pressed forward. Nineteen, every thought clogged my mind; the cold was taking over my body. Twenty-two, a biker passed us yelling, “You guys can do it! There’s still medals at the finish line. It’s not closed yet! Keep going!” Yes, I can do it! One-hundred meters before the finish line, my coach came running to me, as tears filled my eyes. Together, we linked arms and ran towards the finish line.

“Why do you keep coming back?”, I asked myself as I am about to run my third marathon. I have found the answer to this question. Growing up as a middle child in an immigrant family, I was always in my sister’s shadow, and was never indulged like my younger brother. I felt discouraged, lonely and forgotten. When I tried to join in, I was met with, “Why is she here?” Every time my parents came home, they always asked my brother if he ate anything (a typical check-in question for Chinese families). Yet my life was nothing but a comparison, a comparison between me and my mother’s expectations. I was expected to know exactly where I was heading in life.

In the running world, I found a different community. The runner’s world was powerful; it brought me a support system. I received words of encouragement, mentoring and passed down this support to others. I have never felt this much positivity in one avocation. My emotions have always felt trapped in due to the number of responsibilities and expectations I must live up to. Through running, I was able to release these emotions freely. Through running, I found community, I found power, and I found myself.

“Wiessmann”, I said to my coach, “I think I have the answer. I think the reason that I keep coming back to run is to prove to myself that if I put work into anything, I can succeed.”

☰ Essay 2


You can do it! Prove to yourself you’re strong.

I repeated this in my head as the agonizing pain intensified. I was fighting against the wind as it pushed me back with every step I took forward. The leaves rustled against the asphalt road of Kelly Drive. My fingers were swollen, clutched into a fist trying to feel something.

Why? I repeated in my head, Why do I put myself through this torture again?

Straight ahead was the flag that marked mile 15. I wanted to collapse onto the ground.

11.2 miles more, you got this!

If you say so, Pshh okay.

Remember you’re strong.

While my mind argued, the sharp pain in my hip felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly. I clutched my hip, as the memory of getting hit by a car replayed in my head. I remembered it so vividly. The impacted pain from the car hitting my body shocked me back into reality.

What if you died?

STOP! You’re okay. You ran 15 miles non-stop. Be proud.

I took a deep breath, clearing my mind. My mentor and friend were running beside me. I wasn’t alone. The cold breeze gave me wind blisters on my face. It burned but not as much as the desire to finish this marathon. I was coming to mile 17 when a sudden shock of pain from my medial collateral ligaments paralyzed me.


I cried, bending over, clasping onto my knees.

You’re weak.

No, you’re not. Listen, stop doubting yourself.

I pushed my thoughts aside. My muscles were spazzing. The pain was so unbearable I burst into tears.

“Is she okay? Do you want me to take her off the course?” said a course official.

“No, I’m fine,” I said. Tears rolled down my face.

The pain abated within minutes after massaging the spasm out.

Over the last nine miles, the physical and mental agony had gotten worse for my friend and I, but we did not give up. The muscle spasms kept recurring, but in the end, we crossed the finish line, together.

I told you, you could do it. You just had to believe.

Running the Philadelphia Marathon a second time taught me there will be many setbacks in life, like the muscle spasm I had. There would be times when I would want to give up, like the imaginary wall at mile 17. But the biggest obstacle I had to overcome was myself. The first marathon I ran was when I was 16 years old. I had made a promise to my mentor to cross the finish line regardless of what would happen. He had faith in my promise but doubted me at the same time. I proved to him how determined I was. The second marathon I ran was to prove to myself that I am stronger than I knew. It was easier to prove to my mentor he was wrong to be skeptical than to prove to myself how strong I am. Countless times, I was told I was a determined woman, but it was one thing to be told and another to actually believe in myself.

At 17 years old, as I prepare for my third marathon, I reflected on my previous two. I asked myself, who am I running this race for now. It was not a question of who this time, but a moment of why. The marathon resembles life, from what I see the distance is not just a number but a journey of challenges. How to deal with those challenges is up to each and every individual. Hence, I will be running despite knowing what will happen on the day of the marathon; the journey of mile after mile where it matters the most in the moment of conquering what is to await.

☰ Essay 3

I am a very ambitious person, When I set a goal for myself I always achieve that goal. That pertains to school or anything else, whether it be studying, keeping my gpa high, helping my parents at home, or running. Starting off my freshman year I told myself that I wanted to join a sports team when school started. I am a very quiet person and I find it challenging to make new friends, so I felt like joining a team would be the best way to assimilate myself into the new high school environment, and to make new friends. I eagerly joined the girls basketball team. Growing up, I loved to watch basketball. There are only a few sports that I enjoy watching, and basketball is one of those. As I soon discovered, it was not a sport that really showcase my talents. I had lots of fun, and I tried really hard during the first week of open gym practices, I even had some help from upperclassmen that were more experienced. But still it just was not sticking, so ultimately I decided to take up a new endeavor.

During gym class one day we had to do a pacer test, and to my surprise, I was good at running/pacing, I lasted the longest out of all the females in my grade! I was even called out by the teacher who recommended that I try out for the track team, after asking if had any running experience. The following March the next thing I knew, I was at the pre-season workouts for track and field. On the track was where I felt I belonged. As a member of the team I was extremely punctual, not missing one pre-season practice. Unfortunately, though because I was training too hard on the tile flooring in my school I was injured really badly before my first official track meet, and was out for the whole season. It was not until I stopped running that I realized how much I loved to run. I began looking forward to the next year. I knew that I was going to go out for the team again and this time I was going to run the whole season, which fortunately I was able to do. At the same time I was running track I was also running with Students Run Philly style. It was very difficult to commit to both track and Students Run, my priority became track. Through the season of competition, I learned I did not love the competitive nature of track and field. It was lots of fun, especially at the meets where the energy was so exhilarating it made you want to run. I made lots of cool friends that I shared those experiences with, but track and field was not any greater at that point than it was at the beginning of the season and I wanted more.

Going into my junior year, I committed to Students Run, a ten month, non competitive running program at my school that prepares students to run 26.2 mile marathons. I did not know how many student were part of organization until I began going to practises more often. Students Run Philly Style allowed me to run my first Broad Street Run, Bar Association and Philadelphia Half Marathon. After running these races the euphoria I felt was through the roof. I look forward to completing my 2nd, and 3rd and so on Broad Street Runs, and Bar Association 5ks. When I first joined Students Run Philly Style (SRPS), my goal was to run the Philadelphia Marathon before I graduated, and I am proud to say that I am on my way to fulfilling that goal. On November 18, 2018, I will complete it, as I am currently training and building up my mileages. So far I have finished 18 and 20 mile long runs with lots of hard work dedication. This program really has changed my life for the better. Now I wake up at early hours on Saturdays to get a good run in with the rest of the team, and don’t leave school until as late as 6pm because I am running and working on school assignments. My experience with SRPS has really allowed me to appreciate the beauty of Philadelphia in a way that I would not have otherwise. It is because of this that I want to remain in the Philadelphia area and keep working with SRPS as a running mentor to future high school students. This program really has been and continues to be very beneficial to me throughout my high school experience. I would really love the chance to help others have the same experience as me.

I expect college to be very similar to high school, just more sped up and fast paced. I am expecting to do something similar to what I have done in my years at high school. I’ll start the year very quiet and introverted, but soon enough I will join a team or club and become more assimilated to the environment. I will probably try out different things before sticking to one also, but I am ready for the new experience as I like to try new things when given the chance.


email me for a link to all of our team photos


Philly Style 8k
Scavenger Hunt
Broad Street Run
Bar Association 5k
SJAC Kick off Event
Scoop and Loop
Courage Effort Respect Half Marathon
Philadelphia Marathon and Half Marathon


Philadelphia Marathon 2010-2017
Broad Street Run 2012- 2018
Radnor 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014
Enon 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012
Bar Association 5k 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014,
Clean Air 5k 2017, 2016, 2015
SJAC 2017


Palumbo App

example work

philasd tweets