Frequently Asked Questions:
What is AP Computer Science Principles?
This course provides you with a foundation in computing principles and has no prerequisites.
The course focuses on using technology and programming as a means to solve computational problems and create artifacts based on student's curiosity and/or interest to solve problems.
Using an inquiry based approach, you will explore and create projects on topics such as:
- How Internet works and its impact in society
- How to program and rapidly prototype small applications to solve problems
- How to collect, analyze and visualize data to gain insight and knowledge
- How to evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects to people and society brought on by computing innovations.
Doesn't AP mean it's really hard?
While this is an AP course, meaning students have the opportunity to earn college level credits at the conclusion of the course through the AP exam, there are some real differences between this course and other AP courses.
- Your AP score (1-5) is comprised of two tasks that are completed in the year, as well as a multiple-choice end-of-course exam.
- The performance tasks are projects that you have time to work on in class to complete.
- The performance tasks make up 40% of your AP exam score.
- Not as much pressure on the traditional pen and paper test!
- In 2017, the National pass rate (3 or Higher) was just under 65%.
- The course is structured to be inquiry and discovery modeled
- This means there are not long note-taking sessions followed by problems
- Most classes involve collaboration working toward discovering the content.
- SO MANY PROJECTS!
- The College Board designed this course to increase student involvement in Computer Science. The GOAL of the class is to get more students that are currently not represnted in the Computer Science field (i.e. Minorities, Females, Persons with Disabilities, etc). This means the class isn't designed to be welcoming to ALL students.
- Probably the BEST introductory AP course for students. There are many schools that run the course open to Freshmen!
So is this a 'really hard' class? It's not so simple. The course will challenge you, and fundamentally change how you think about computers and programs. If you have never even thought how the internet worked before, you will know by the end of the first unit. It is a challenge to learn, but it is NOT impossible by any means.
Who should take AP Computer Science Principles?
E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E! The course was designed to increase student participation in computer science courses. Specifically, those underrepresented in the computer science field. This means that if you have never even thought about taking a computer science class, this class is for you!
Do we code a lot?
We most certainly do code. But we don't code every day. Actually, only two units are dedicated specifically to the process of coding. Much of this course is learning how computers work, the many tools that exist because of computing, and the consequences as well as benefits of these innovations. This class is a Problem Solving class. You will learn how to solve simple problems all the way to complex problems. Students that complete this course may pursue more computer science and become coders, but they may also never take another computer science class again. This course will help both of these types of students in their lives equally.
How do I get in to this class?
Talk to your counselor. They can let you know the information about the course, and how you can sign up to take it either this year, or next. Come see Mr. Cope if you have more questions, because he'd love to help you!