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AP Computer Science Principles

From: $98.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 8th–12th

Live class: Tuesdays 4:00–5:00 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 27th–May 3rd

Price:  $700

Instructor: Kristen Lauria

Instructor email:


Course Description

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 or see her website at for more information.


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Required Texts

  • There is no required text, but this book is referenced and is available for free online. Blown to Bits​

Instructor Bio

Kristen Lauria

Kristen Lauria is a lifelong student who has become the teacher.  In second grade she was found stealing teacher’s editions from her public school classroom to teach her younger best friend at home. She’s since progressed to buying her materials legally, but her love of teaching hasn’t wavered.  She spent 4 years in the Navy learning about nuclear reactors and went on to finish her BS in Physics with a minor in Math graduating Cum Laude.  She also was inducted into the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, having attained a GPA in Physics of over 3.0.  She has her MS in Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum from Drexel University and is certified to teach physics and chemistry in the state of Pennsylvania.

In addition to teaching for Aim Academy, she also homeschools her own 2 children in elementary school, counsels her adult stepchildren in what adulting really means, and helps her husband with restoring their 200-year-old farmhouse one slow-moving project at a time.  She also runs her own tutoring company and teaches at her local homeschool co-op.  In her free time (which is rather scarce at the moment) she loves to read and spend time outside enjoying God’s creation.

She hopes to share her love of math and science with all of her students here at Aim Academy.  While she can’t make all the topics students in her classes will be learning easy, she will do her best to make them approachable and interesting.  She hopes to show her students how everything they will encounter in their textbooks will apply to their own lives; not just in the future, but today.

All classes taught by Kristen Lauria