By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki
AP Computer Science is a bear of a class for many high school students. But keeping teens engaged as they strive to absorb a large amount of difficult material is a just as big a challenge for teachers.
Curriki, with help from our partner Oracle, is here to help. Together we have created a comprehensive AP Computer Science Principles Course that takes this huge unit and breaks it down into a series of really cool projects that will whet your students’ appetites for computer knowledge, and help them prepare for that all-important AP Exam.
The course introduces students to the creative aspects of programming, abstractions, algorithms, large data sets, and they’ll discover how the Internet really works. They’ll also dig into cybersecurity and how computing impacts our world. Students will develop the computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines.
Curriki’s AP Computer Science Principles Course is designed to engage students from diverse backgrounds, both those new to computing and screen nerds. It will excite students with a curriculum that focuses on the core ideas that shape the landscape of computer science and its impact on our society.
How Do We Do It?
With fun interactive projects! Here are just a few:
- The unit Hexadecimal and ASCII in The Martian uses the popular 2015 movie The Martian to teach. In The Martian, Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) uses the 16-character hexadecimal system to communicate with NASA after he becomes stranded on Mars. The unit opens with a video in which the director talks viewers through the exuberant scene in which Watney is finally able to communicate with NASA.
You’ll have the whole class cheering with Watney as he successfully uses the hexadecimal system – which is typically used by programmers to condense and communicate large binary numbers – and a rotating camera to successfully communicate. And then they’ll dive into learning the system themselves!
- Design Your Own PC allows students to go to the PCPartPicker website to choose the parts to assemble their own virtual computer, including CPU, motherboard, memory, storage, case, power supply and operating system.
AP CS Principles
Using this OER to complement your teaching is especially helpful because the course adheres to the College Board’s new AP CS Principles curriculum framework. Using engaging projects and materials, students will develop computational thinking skills through:
- Collaborative problem solving
- Creative design of unique solutions
- Data representation through modeling and simulations
- Algorithmic reasoning
About Oracle Academy
Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development and diversity in technology fields. Learn more.
Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.