AP Computer Science

  • Course number:
    • Part I: T966S (Summer), T966F (Fall), T966W (Winter)
    • Part II: T967S (Summer), T967F (Fall), T967W (Winter)
    • Note: Complete part 1 before part 2.
  • Grades offered: 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Credits: 0.5 (per semester)
  • Prerequisites: C or better in Algebra; Introduction to Computer Science is recommended but not required

Course Description: CS Principles is designed to be a full-year, rigorous, but entry-level course for high school students. The Internet and Innovation provide a narrative arc for the course, a thread connecting all of the units. The course starts with learning about what is involved in sending a single bit of information from one place to another, and ends with students developing small applications of their own design that live on the web. Students practice problem solving with structured activities and progress to open-ended projects and problems that require them to develop planning, documentation, communication, and other professional skills. Problems aim for ground-level entry with no ceiling so that all students can successfully engage the problems. Students with greater motivation, ability, or background knowledge will be challenged to work further.

Instructional Methods/Assessments:

  • Assessment
    • The AP Assessment consists of a multiple choice exam and two “through-course” assessments called the AP Performance Tasks (PTs).
  • Summative Assessments
    • There are several lessons in the curriculum that outline projects that are very similar to the AP PTs. We call them Practice PTs. Each unit contains at least one Practice PT and some have two.

Recommended Background for Success: This course can be an entry-level course; however, it is recommended that students take Intro to Computer Science prior to AP Computer Science Principles. The Intro to CS course can be taken at either the middle school level (8th grade) or the high school level. The course requires a significant amount of expository writing (as well as writing computer code, of course). For students wishing to complete the requirements of the AP Exam and Performance Tasks, we recommend they be in 10th grade or above.

The course does not aim to teach mastery of a single programming language but aims instead to develop computational thinking, to generate excitement about the field of computing, and to introduce computational tools that foster creativity.

Tonka Online students working at home