The AP Computer Science course is a full-year course designed to prepare the student for taking the Advanced Placement examination, offered each May. The course is for those students who wish to attempt to earn college credit and/or gain experience with a computer science course at the college freshman level. Because of the nature of the course, students will be required to complete significant amounts of work in class and on their own to complete the curriculum and be prepared for the exam. The content of the course will place heavy emphasis on the foundations of programming, object oriented design and data structures. Students will also learn how to create efficient data sorting, storage and retrieval algorithms for the data structures covered on the AP exam. The overall goal of the course is to help students become effective and efficient problem solvers who can quickly create solutions to complicated logical, organizational and sequencing problems. The course challenges students with an intensive amount of abstract reasoning. The Advanced Placement course uses the Java programming language for all phases of instruction.
This course is centered on the use of a variety of software for the purpose of creating a student-centered publication. Paired with digital media, the course will also involve learning about challenges and dilemmas encountered in the publishing experience. An introduction to the course begins with a short unit on media literacy to provide sensitivity to the use of Media as a means of persuasion. Basic journalism including note- taking, interviewing, and achieving a writing style while understanding such concepts as libel and slander provide the foundation for the writing portion of the course. But journalism is more than writing. It is also page design, photo and art direction, construction of the publication and an understanding of the publishing business. The students will learn programs such as InDesign, Photoshop, IMovie and Final Cut LE. Initially, the instructor will provide the groundwork for the understanding of InDesign and Photoshop. As the year progresses, students will be expected to become proficient in one area of the programs and be responsible for conveying that information to the rest of the class. Students will also be in involved in all aspects of the publishing process including maintaining deadline schedules, editing, and class support while reworking articles. Assessments will include student’s proficiency with the programs, quality of copy, digital imaging and overall layout design.
This course is a one-semester course designed to prepare students for taking the Advanced Placement Computer Science class or to serve as an introductory exposure to computer programming and computer science. The course is perfectly suited for students who are either curious about programming or confident in their plan to pursue additional computer science classes at DA or in college. The course places heavy emphasis on the basic fundamentals of programming, including but not limited to data types, expressions, operators, selection structures, loops, methods and lists. The textbook and most all of the course tools are freely available online. Therefore, it is essential that students have access to the Internet at home to complete assignments. Students will also need to be comfortable with self-directed learning that can and will be frustrating at times. An interest and strength in math is valuable but not mandatory. Students will be required to complete a significant amount to work not only in class, but also on their own, to complete the curriculum and all projects on time. Introduction to Computer Science uses the Python programming language for all phases of instruction. This class also includes a service-learning unit at the end of the semester.
In Robotics, students will be introduced to theoretical and practical engineering and programming skills while preparing for the challenge of interscholastic competition. Students study computer programming and principles of mechanical engineering, design artificial intelligence behaviors, and build basic robots. In the spring, students from the course can compete in the FIRST robotic challenge (www.firstinspires.org) a worldwide competition that measures the effectiveness of each robot, the power of collaboration, and the determination of students.
In Advanced Robotics, students will build on concepts covered in Intro to Robotics and further apply new knowledge acquired of electrical materials, electric circuits, electromagnetism, computer science and mechanics. The aim of this course is to further students' application of skills and knowledge learned in physics, math, and computer science courses while gaining an understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of engineering and technology as well as possible STEM career paths. Through collaborative group projects, students will continue to develop their skills of applying creativity and knowledge to develop more complex solutions to socially relevant problems. This course does not count toward the graduation requirement in science.