By Candice West ’16
Computer Science A a new AP course is coming this fall. The course is being offered as part of Mr. McDonnell’s plan to modernize the school. Approximately 200 students applied to the course so as a result there will be two classes, one taught by Mr. Peterson and one taught by Mr. Ross. To apply, students must have completed algebra 2/trigonometry and have some basics in computers either from junior high, robotics, or college now.
This program will go in depth into the Java computer language and computer fundamentals. According to the College Board’s website, students will learn “problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data, approaches to processing data, analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing. The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design.”
Since Java is so extensive, the course will only cover a part of the computer program. Students are also required to know how to write codes (on paper and in the computer) because the AP exam is divided into two parts featuring multiple choice questions and short responses requiring that codes learned in class be written out.
Students must take a minimum of twenty hours of hands on structured lab. Since time is limited, each session will be a combination of a lecture and a lab.
Since science teachers are already involved with high tech subjects like robotics, the Math department was considered for this project. Then Mr. Peterson was picked from a group of teachers with some computer education. Mr. Peterson believes that computer programming helps push society forward.
“You need logic because computers are stupid,” Mr. Peterson said. He also said that if allowed, “I would like to create apps in the class, but I would have to learn how to start one first.”