Introduction to Computer Science
Designed to be the first computer science course for students who have never programmed before, ICS is an optional starting point for the PLTW Computer Science program. Students create interactive stories in Scratch™ (an easy-to-use programming language); work in teams to create simple apps for mobile devices using App Inventor; and analyze data about students' health, social habits, and interests using functions in Excel®. Students will learn the impact of computing in society and the application of computing across career paths. They will also transfer the understanding of programming gained in App Inventor to a third language, Python®, in which they learn introductory elements of text-based programming.
Computer Science and Software Engineering
CSE implements the College Board’s 2013 CS Principles framework. 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. This course can be a student's first course in computer science, although we encourage students without prior computing experience to start with Introduction to Computer Science. CSE helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, robotics, and simulation.
Computer Science Applications
CSA focuses on integrating technologies across multiple platforms and networks, including the Internet. Students collaborate to produce programs that integrate mobile devices and leverage those devices for distributed collection and data processing. Students analyze, adapt, and improve each other's programs while working primarily in Java™ and other industry-standard tools. This course prepares students for the College Board’s Advanced Placement CS-A test.
Simulation and Modelling
In SAM, students create models and simulate social, physical, and biological systems. Students apply statistics and data analysis to understand systems and predict behavior, and they compare models to complex, real data. Students create simulations to communicate central ideas in the physical, biological, and social sciences and deepen their understanding of concepts in discrete math and computer science. This course emphasizes collaboration, professional writing, and the scientific method.
AI students will develop artificially intelligent systems that create solutions to real problems found in science and industry. Students analyze problems for computational difficulty and analyze solutions for computational efficiency. Students engage in a wide array of applications, including automated vehicles and computer vision.
SEC 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 SEC, 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.
Computational Problem Solving
As a capstone course, CPS offers students the opportunity to work in a team to deliver a software solution to a real-world design problem. Teams start by defining problems, which might originate from CPS students, community, or industry clients, or students in other problem-based courses, and use the Agile design process to develop a software solution. Effective practices in problem solving, documentation, software development, presentation, and collaboration are central to the course.