Course Catalog

Computer Science Discoveries (#0200305)

Grades:
9,10,11,12
GPA Weighting:
No
SUS Admissions:
No
Bright Futures:
FAS/FMS No, GSV Yes
NCAA:
Graduation Requirements:

Mathematics

Assessment:
Placement Consideration:
Prerequisites:
Next Course in Progression:
Other Information:
Approved Resources:
Course Description:

PURPOSE

Computing is so fundamental to understanding and participating in society that it is valuable for every student to learn as part of a modern education.  Computer science can be viewed as a liberal art, a subject that provides students with a critical lens for interpreting the world around them.  Computer science prepares all students to be active and informed contributors to our increasingly technological society whether they pursue careers in technology or not.  Computer science can be life-changing, not just skill training.

Students learn best when they are intrinsically motivated.  This course prioritizes learning experiences that are active, relevant to students' lives, and provide students authentic choice.  Students are encouraged to be curious, solve personally relevant problems and to express themselves through creation.  Learning is an inherently social activity, so the course is designed to interweave lessons with discussions, presentations, peer feedback, and shared reflections.  As students proceed through the pathway, the structures increasingly shift responsibility to students to formulate their own questions, develop their own solutions, and critique their work.

It is also critical to diversify the technology workforce.  Addressing inequities within the field of computer science is critical to bringing computer science to all students.  The tools and strategies in this course will help teachers understand and address well-known equity gaps within the field.  All students can succeed in computer science when given the right supports and opportunities, regardless of prior knowledge.

OVERVIEW AND GOALS

Computer Science Discoveries introduces students to computer science as a vehicle for problem solving, communication, and personal expression.  The course focuses on the visible aspects of computing and computer science and encourages students to see where computer science exists around them and how they can engage with it as a tool for exploration and expression.  Centering on the immediately observable and personally applicable elements of computer science, the course asks students to look outward and explore the impact of computer science on society.  Students should see how a thorough student-centered design process produces a better application, how data is used to address problems that affect large numbers of people, and how physical computing with circuit boards allows computers to collect, input and return output in a variety of ways.