Computer science education means far more than learning how to use a computer, building a spreadsheet or even creating a webpage. It’s about problem solving, computational thinking and abstract reasoning across a broad range of subjects. A fundamental understanding of computer science enables students to be not just educated users of technology, but the innovators capable of using computers to improve the quality of life for everyone.
Computer science classes at SIS help students learn logical reasoning, computational thinking, design, and problem solving – all concepts and skills that are valuable well beyond the computer science classroom. Success in these classes requires that students demonstrate important skills of intellectual collaboration, creativity, independence and self-direction – the very skills that students need for success in college and career.
Here is a glimpse at what’s happening in our high school computer science classes.
Computer Game Design: Computer Game Design class is based on the Computer Science Discoveries course developed by Code.org. Ninth grade students taking this class are working on an iterative team project by identifying a need that they care about, creating prototype solutions both on paper and in App Lab, and testing solutions with real users to get feedback and drive further iteration. This is the culminating project for the unit focusing on broader social impacts of computing especially when designing apps.
Introduction to coding: This class introduces students to computer programming using Python programming language. Last week, students completed a guided project to code hangman game using Python by incorporating concepts from all prior units. For the rest of the year, they will be working on various projects to code games and online applications. Those students with advanced skills are asked to explore new opportunities and propose their own ideas for coding projects. Those needing more support and scaffolding are given detailed instructions to work projects such as developing a maze game, online store project.
AP Computer Science Principles: Computer Science Principles is a class designed to prepare students who are new to computer science for the College Board’s AP Computer Science Principles exam. The course covers many topics including the Internet, Big Data and Privacy, and Programming and Algorithms. A week ago students took their AP “mock” exams which was designed to provide an important practice opportunity for students, simulating the rigor of taking a two-hour exam and providing them with feedback about their performance in advance of the exam itself. From now till the AP Exam on May 11th, we will spend class time to review for the exam.