Recently, the Quaker Valley School Board approved changes to the High School program of studies that included the addition of a new Computer Science course titled Introduction to Programming using Python. This course is a full year, offered to grades 9-12 and assumes no programming experience.
The course is designed for students with little or no prior experience with programming computers and has been developed in conjunction with Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science and is a broad introduction to Computer Science within grades 9-12. Python, is an easy-to learn, high-level computer language that is used in many computational courses and disciplines. Students will learn the basics and gradually harness the power of Python’s more advanced features to make games and solve real-world problems. All students will have the opportunity to learn coding skills, programming, and computer science, in this fun and engaging course. The best way to learn to program is by doing; therefore, students will be immersed in coding on the first day of class. Throughout the course students will use graphics that are visually engaging, solve problems that allow for multiple correct solutions, and work through creative tasks that let students explore topics of interest.
Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science partnered with Quaker Valley during the 2017/18 school year to pilot a new Computer Science Curriculum at the High School. The first course is programming using Python, where students in Dr. Mariano’s Introduction to Java course tested the interactive, autograded Computer Science curricular content created by two Carnegie Mellon Professors and their students. The professor’s students visited Dr. Mariano’s class routinely to gather feedback and implement changes recommended by Quaker Valley students to develop and deploy a novel, interactive, fun, engaging, world class high school computer science course. The students recently visited CMU for the first CS Day 1, where students listened to researchers on how their interest in computers can impact their chosen career while competing in challenges that encompassed encryption, logic and exploratory research topics by CMU students in the disciplines of Art, Biomedical Science and Computer Science. The partnership will continue and further courses will be developed in conjunction with CMU to expand Quaker Valley’s Computer Science offerings.