Description: 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.
Lecture Content/Live Zoom Discussions: All course lectures are recorded and available for students to playback at their convenience. I also post podcasts and short video clips explain course concepts as needed. Regular “office hours” will be listed after classes begin (survey of student time zones will determine the actual office hours) so students can reach me for immediate feedback or for individual or group homework help. Additional sessions will be held closer to the AP Exam to work through typical test problems.
Performance Tasks: The through-course assessment includes two AP Computer Science Principles performance tasks. One of the tasks requires students to identify a computing innovation, explore its impact, and create a computational artifact that represents the computing innovation. The other task focuses on the development of a computer program through the collaborative and iterative processes of programming.
Student Evaluation and Feedback: Students will be graded on homework, labs, discussions, exams, and projects. The homework will be a combination of short answer questions done on the course website and handouts to be completed, scanned, and uploaded. All student work will be graded and returned within one week of submission.
Communications: Course communication occurs through the message system on the course website. I am also available to students through Zoom by appointment.
Technical needs: To access course materials students will need broadband, high speed Internet and their own e-mail account. This course will be run on the learning platform called Canvas. Canvas is a user-friendly, powerful platform where parents can be linked to their students and access student material, see grades, and contact the instructor at any time. Most assignments are completed online, however, some assignments are downloaded as PDF files from the website. A scanner is required so that students can scan their completed work and upload it to the website for grading.
Time Commitment: The qualified student will spend 8-10 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading the assigned texts, answering questions, hands-on lab activities, and discussing class work and reading assignments with others in the forums.
Class Meeting Time: Four times monthly, a live Zoom discussion will be held at the above listed Zoom meeting time to discuss concepts, answer student questions, and complete homework problems together. Students are not required to “meet” at the scheduled discussion time, but it is encouraged. Scheduled discussion times will be recorded for those unable to attend the live discussion times. All homework is due on the Canvas course website by Friday evenings, midnight EST, unless otherwise noted.
Instructor Qualifications: I have a BS in physics with a minor in mathematics and a MS in Education. I have a tutoring company that I began in 2012 when I saw a vast need for math and science help for high school and college level students and found it was a great way to share my love for both subjects. I homeschool my own 2 children in addition to teaching at a local co-op our family is a part of. I took online classes during both my undergraduate and graduate education and am familiar with both the power and limitations of the medium. I have a desire to pass on my own love of learning all subjects, but really hope to encourage students to enjoy learning science and math, which are often feared and avoided.
Who should apply: The AP Program recommends that students successfully complete a high school algebra course like Algebra I with a strong foundation in basic algebraic concepts dealing with function notation and problem-solving strategies. Students should be able to use a Cartesian (x, y) coordinate system to represent points on a plane. Students do not need to have prior computer science knowledge or experience.
To apply or ask a question regarding this class, email Kristen Lauria at firstname.lastname@example.org or see her website at MasteryAcademic.com for more information.