MIddle School Programming I is an elective that was created to give students a taste of computer science and programming. Students will first learn about Computational Thinking Skills. What is Computational Thinking?
"Computational thinking is a way of solving problems, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. To flourish in today's world, computational thinking has to be a fundamental part of the way people think and understand the world.
Computational thinking means creating and making use of different levels of abstraction, to understand and solve problems more effectively.
Computational thinking means thinking algorithmically and with the ability to apply mathematical concepts such as induction to develop more efficient, fair, and secure solutions.
Computational thinking means understanding the consequences of scale, not only for reasons of efficiency but also for economic and social reasons."
- Carnegie Mellon University, Center for Computational Thinking
Along with Computational Thinking, students will also work on the following:
Agent Cubes: Agent Cubes is a programming environment that gets students started immediately with intuitive, visual, built-in programming tools. Guided by the teacher and tutorials when needed, students create characters and worlds and program their behaviors with a drag and drop interface. AgentCubes users range from elementary school students to NASA scientists, entire school districts, and large federally funded university projects. We use it to build simulations, to explore complex ideas, communicate ideas to others, or just build games.
One of the aims of Processing is to allow non-programmers to start computer programming aided by visual feedback. The Processing language builds on the Java language, but uses a simplified syntax and a graphics user interface.
HTML: HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language. Developed by scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1990, HTML is the "hidden" code that helps us communicate with others on the World Wide Web (WWW). When writing HTML, you add "tags" to the text in order to create the structure. These tags tell the browser how to display the text or graphics in the document.
Teaching the Hour of Code
to their peers each December: The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.
Code.org Discoveries. This program
introduces a myriad of topics having to do with Computer Science. Students will participate in hands on activities (call "unplugged") as well as programming. Topics include: problem solving, web development, interactive games, the design process, data and society, and physical computing.