Teacher Feature: Edward Sharick

Teacher+Feature%3A+Edward+Sharick

By Reese Wang, Staff Reporter

In Edward Sharick’s computer science classes, one can find students working on coding projects both individually and in small groups. However, there isn’t a lecturer present in the room, only a facilitator to give advice.

“I put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the student, and
let them make the decisions, whether they be good or bad decisions,” Sharick said.

Sharick arrived at Conestoga in January 2015 to replace a physics teacher on leave. The following year, he began teaching computer science classes. Currently, he teaches physics, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A and Alice and Java.

Growing up in Pittsburgh as the sixth of ten children, Sharick said his parents didn’t have the time to check in on everything he was doing. He said this gave him a lot of responsibility, but also independence to explore his interests. He first encountered coding in a QBasic language course offered by his high school in Lower Burrell.

“One of my final projects for that class was a baseball simulation game where you could choose to swing or take a pitch, and based on probabilities, you would either get a strike or you would get a hit. And you would have runners and you could try and steal bases and things like
that,” Sharick said.

He continued to pursue his interest by taking additional coding courses in high school. He later studied computer science at Carnegie Mellon University. However, after taking a physics course to satisfy a college science requirement, he switched his major to computational physics, which he teaches at Conestoga today.

Outside of school, Sharick splits his time between a variety of activities, from Ultimate Frisbee to reading. He enjoys cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins and playing on the ice himself in a local instructional league at the Oaks center. He also likes watching TV with his wife and walking his Labrabull dog, Lucy. In addition, he is an avid gamer, devoting several hours a week to playing video games such as World of Warcraft, DOTA 2 and PUBG.

“Growing up, I played a lot of video games with my brothers back in my console,” Sharick said. “I like the unique challenges that the games bring about and I like the social aspect of games.”

Sharick also enjoys coding at home, spending three to five hours a week on coding projects. He has coded arcade games such as Space Invaders, Snake and PAC-MAN.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing them growing up and it’s fun to
relive the childhood experience in a way,” Sharick said.

He loves coding due to the amount of creative freedom he has.

“When you’re coding, you’re not bound by as many roles as like some other things,” Sharick said. “Anything that you can imagine, you can put on the screen. And that, to me, is really empowering.”