CS Principles

What is CS Principles?

The College Board has proposed a new course called AP® Computer Science Principles. This course is designed to be far more than a traditional introduction to programming - it is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the big, foundational ideas of computing so that all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in. The official AP® exam is set to go live in the 2016-17 school year with an exam and performance-based assessments.

Find more information about the College Board CS Principles project at: http://apcsprinciples.org/


The Internet (Last update: May 2016)

What can be represented with a single bit and how do we get a single bit of information from one place to another? This unit explores the technical challenges and questions that arise from the need to represent digital information in computers and transfer it between people and computational devices. Topics include: the digital representation of information - numbers, text, images, and communication protocols.

  • Check out all unit 1 student-facing activity guides here.
  • You can access a flat pdf of all the lessons in unit 1 here.

Digital Information (Last update: May 2016)

This unit further explores the ways that digital information is encoded, represented and manipulated. In this unit students will look at and generate data, clean it, manipulate it, and create and use visualizations to identify patterns and trends.

  • Check out all unit 2 student-facing activity guides here.
  • You can access a flat pdf of all the lessons in unit 2 here.

Algorithms and Programming (Last update: June 2016)

This unit introduces the foundational concepts of computer programming, which unlocks the ability to make rich, interactive apps. This course uses JavaScript as the programming language, and App Lab as the programming environment to build apps, but the concepts learned in these lessons span all programming languages and tools.

  • Check out all unit 3 student-facing activity guides here.
  • Access a flat pdf of all the lessons in unit 3 here.

Big Data and Privacy (Last update: October 2016)

The data rich world we live in also introduces many complex questions related to public policy, law, ethics and societal impact. In many ways this unit acts as a unit on current events. It is highly likely that there will be something related to big data, privacy and security going on in the news at any point in time. The major goals of the unit are 1) for students to develop a well-rounded and balanced view about data in the world around them and both the positive and negative effects of it and 2) to understand the basics of how and why modern encryption works.

Building Apps (Last Update: December 2016)

This unit continues to develop students’ ability to program in the JavaScript language, using Code.org’s App Lab environment to create a series of small applications (apps) that live on the web, each highlighting a core concept of programming. In this unit students transition to creating event-driven apps. The unit assumes that students have learned the concepts and skills from Unit 3, namely: writing and using functions, using simple repeat loops, being able to read documentation, collaborating, and using the Code Studio environment with App Lab.

AP Performance Tasks (Last Update: January 2017)

This unit contains lessons to help students with preparation and execution of the AP® Performance Tasks: Create and Explore