Coding and Computer Science
For today’s students, coding is seen as an essential skill to have; just like communication and problem solving skills. Why has this become such a big deal? Computer science will be one of the fastest growing and highest paying sectors over the next decade. Also, they earn the highest entry-level salary of any other bachelor’s degree.
What is coding? What is computer science? Are they the same? Coding is the process of assigned symbol/abbreviation to something for the purpose of classification or identification (simply: the act of giving computers instructions). Computer science is the study of automating algorithmic processes that scale (simply: the study of what computers can do). There is a difference; however, they do work in tandem. When Governor McAuliffe signed legislation to incorporate coding and computational thinking into the SOLs, was he saying all students must learn Python? No. Students must be able to:
- Use logical reasoning to analyze an argument and to determine whether conclusions are valid
- Identify and use available technologies to help complete specific tasks
- Incorporate new and emerging technologies as appropriate
- Plan and apply strategies for gathering information
- Draw conclusions from research and relate these findings to real-world situations
Since 2004, SCPS has worked with the College of William and Mary and Dahlgren to provide robotics and coding opportunities to all middle school students in either 6th or 7th grade through the Virginia Demonstration Project (VDP). Also, SCPS has worked to bring SeaPerch and Lego Robotics into elementary and middle school.
Starring Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, will.i.am, Chris Bosh, Jack Dorsey, Tony Hsieh, Drew Houston, Gabe Newell, Ruchi Sanghvi, Elena Silenok, Vanessa Hurst, and Hadi Partovi. Directed by Lesley Chilcott, executive producers Hadi and Ali Partovi.
The high school computer science courses are shared by Career and Technical Education and Mathematics. Computer science has always had close ties to mathematics and engineering, but has increasingly experienced collaborations with other disciplines, including psychology, linguistics, economics, business, statistics, music, medicine, physics and more. It is through these collaborations that the importance of computer science in a broader sense is best appreciated.
High School Computer Science Courses:
Programming - supported by Career and Technical Education
Students explore computer concepts, use logic procedures, and implement programming procedures using one or more programming languages, such as Visual Basic. In addition, HTML is used to program Web pages.
Advanced Programming - supported by Career and Technical Education
Building on a foundation of programming skills, students will use object-oriented programming to develop applications for Windows, database, multimedia, games, mobile, and/or Web environments. Students will have the opportunity to explore and create applications related to the information technology and game design industries.
Communication Systems - supported by Career and Technical Education
This course will provide students with experiences utilizing various processes and methods used in digital communication, providing them with the ability to effectively get their ideas across to others. Students will explore communicating with data systems (GIS, GPS); complete technical designs, produce graphics and 3D animations; explore optics (photographic concepts); create digital audio and video presentations; and integrate different media together by creating a digital portfolio of their work. Students will solve problems involving input, process, output, and feedback processes.
Digital Visualization - supported by Career and Technical Education
Students will gain experiences related to computer animation by solving problems involving 3D object manipulation, story boarding, texture mapping, lighting concepts, and environmental geometry. They will produce animations that include interdisciplinary projects related to science, engineering, and the entertainment industry.
AP Computer Science A - supported by Mathematics
The focus of this course is to provide students with a conceptual background in computer science. The major emphasis is on programming methodology, algorithms, and non-dynamic data structure in the JAVA language.
AP Computer Science Principles - supported by Mathematics
This course is designed to focus on computational thinking practices which enables students to engage with the course content by developing computational artifacts and analyzing data, information, or knowledge represented for computational use. The course will emphasize the following elements: connecting computing (to include creative computing), creating computational artifacts, abstracting, communicating, and collaborating.
IB Computer Science (SL) - supported by Mathematics
The content of this 1-year course includes software development, computer systems, system design, social significance, number systems and Boolean Logic, advanced data structures and algorithms, objects and their use in problem solutions, the system life cycle, and file organization.
Career and Technical Education (CTE)
Dinah Robinson, CTE & Workforce Preparedness Lead
(540) 658-6000 ext. 297
Lisa White-Murrill, CTE Teaching & Learning Facilitator
(540) 658-6000 ext. 272
Tracey Chestnut, CTE Support Specialist
(540) 658-6000 ext. 279
Sherry Denny, CTE Support Specialist
(540) 658-6000 ext. 295
Deb Fenzau, CTE Administrative Assistant
(540) 658-6000 ext. 271