In our dynamic, technology-intensive global society, a career in computer science is not only exciting, but future-proof! The STEM Computer Science Program engages students in interdisciplinary activities, such as building apps to meet client needs and exploring cybersecurity, that not only build knowledge and skills in computer science, but also empower students to develop essential skills such as problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and perseverance. The program’ s courses empowers students with in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they choose.
Computer Science Essentials (Year 1)
Computer Science Essentials exposes students to a diverse set of computational thinking concepts, fundamentals, and tools, allowing them to gain understanding and build confidence. Students use visual, block-based programming and seamlessly transition to text-based programming with languages such as Python® to create apps and develop websites and learn how to make computers work together to put their design into practice. They apply computational thinking practices, build their vocabulary, and collaborate just as computing professionals do to create products that address topics and problems important to them.
Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (Year 2)
Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. While this course can be a student’s first in computer science, students without prior computing experience are encouraged to start with Introduction to Computer Science. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, and simulation. PLTW is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of PLTW CSP’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment.
Advanced Placement Computer Science A (Year 3)
Computer Science A focuses on further developing computational thinking skills through the medium of Android™ App development for mobile platforms. The course utilizes industry-standard tools such as Android Studio, Java™ programming language, XML, and device emulators. Students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases. This course aligns with the AP CS A course.
Cybersecurity (Year 4)
Cybersecurity introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely.
Introduction to 3D Programming: AR/VR (Year 4)
This course focuses on introduction to 3D programming using the Unity creation engine. Students will be introduced to the world of Augmented, Mixed, and Virtual Reality interfaces. These interfaces enable new kinds of user experiences by superimposing digital content onto the user’s real-world view or creating fully immersive virtual world experiences.