According to the College Board
, the AP Computer Science Principles course (AP CSP) is designed to be equivalent to a first semester introductory college computing course. In this course, students will develop computational thinking skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. The course is unique in its focus on fostering student creativity. Students are encouraged to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts and to think creatively while using computer software and other technology to explore questions that interest them. They will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills, working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and discussing and writing about the importance of these problems and the impacts to their community, society, and the world. Additional information from College Board can be found here: AP Computer Science Principles Course Overview
The course is designed to engage students from diverse backgrounds and those who are new to computing. The course engages all students in authentic, project-based learning to develop computational thinking through:
- Collaborative problem solving
- Creative design of unique solutions
- Data representation through modeling and simulations
- Algorithmic reasoning
In addition, the course prepares students to successfully complete both the AP CSP Performance Tasks and the AP CSP exam.
It is recommended that a student in the AP Computer Science Principles course should have successfully completed a first-year high school algebra course with a strong foundation in basic algebraic concepts.
By the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
- Understand the basics of computer systems.
- Understand the digital representations of real-world things.
- Evaluate and analyze the tremendous impact of computing on the world.
- Analyze and draw new conclusions from large data sets.
- Apply foundational programming constructs to solve problems.
- Create programs that serve useful functions.
- Design future technology applications.
Schools must install and allow student access to the resources listed here, in order for a student to participate in the course.
Please see software manufacturers’ websites for further information and system requirements.
In addition to VHS system requirements:
Software used: Scratch
integrated development environments (IDE). "Scratch" is available as both a web application and a downloadable program. "Pencilcode” is only available as a web application.
Specific URLs addressed: multiple addresses at domains "youtube.com," "google.com," "wikipedia.org," "cisco.com," "hexinvaders.com," "ted.com," "codingdojo.com," "vimeo.com," "pbs.org," "hoodamath.com," "nytimes.com," "netlogoweb.org," and "northwestern.edu."
This course may not be appropriate for students with specific accessibility limitations as written. Please refer to the VHS Handbook policy on Special Education/Equity for more information on possible modifications. If you need additional assistance, please let us know at service.goVHS.org
There is a $75/year fee for each enrollment in a VHS AP® course.