A CS course for everyone, designed with equity in mind
CS Discoveries is designed from the ground up to be an accessible and engaging course for all students, regardless of background or prior experience. By providing students opportunities to engage with culturally and personally relevant topics in a wide variety of CS related fields we hope to show all students that CS can be for them.
Made for Makers
We know that students engage differently with real world physical objects than with virtual software, and that the process of making physical artifacts is a powerful tool for fun, engaging, and lasting learning experiences. CS Discoveries has the Maker ethos embedded throughout, providing students the opportunity to see and participate in the physical act of creation alongside the more abstract elements of computer science.
Completing a K-12 pathway
Our new course, CS Discoveries, is being designed to fit naturally between our CS Fundamentals course for K-5 and our CS Principles course for AP/Honors high school students. This allows us to offer districts, teachers and students a complete pathway of courses that build on each other and flow naturally together.
Units of Instruction
This unit is a highly interactive and collaborative introduction to the field of computer science, as framed within the broader pursuit of solving problems. Through a series of puzzles, challenges, and real world scenarios, students are introduced to a problem solving process that they will return to repeatedly throughout the course. They then explore how computers represent and process information in order to solve certain kinds of problems. The unit concludes with students designing an application that could help address a problem of their choosing.
The internet has become the primary source of information for most students, but few are critical consumers of that information. Understanding how that information ends up online, who controls it, and where it is stored will make students better consumers of information.
Programming is one of the most empowering and engaging tools for a student to learn. In this unit students get their first experience with programming through the lense of creating programmatic images, animations, interactive art, and games. Starting off with simple primitive shapes and building up to more sophisticated sprite based games students will become familiar with the programming concepts and the design process computer scientists use daily.
In this unit, students will learn about user-centered design as an extension of the Problem Solving Process that was introduced in unit 1. Through a series of projects students will move from thinking solely about what they would personally like in a product or app, and towards discovering what users or customers other than themselves would want in a product or app.
For every action we take on the internet, a trail of data is left behind. The combined records of your activity online makes up your digital footprint, which can be used for a number of purposes, both benign and malicious. In this unit we ask students to consider what data they are leaving behind on the internet, and what might it be used for?
Computing devices are everywhere, and we often engage with them without even realizing it. The ubiquitous availability of the internet and continual shrinking of computers have opened up new opportunities for innovations in developing classes of computing including smart appliances, wearable technology, biohacking, and rapid prototyping.