Middle School
MS Curriculum

Computer Science

Students today live in a digitized, computerized, programmable world. To make sense of it, they need to understand computer science.
Middle School Computer Science classes introduce computer programming and offer students an opportunity to learn and use new technologies. With an emphasis on communicating their ideas clearly through a variety of media, the four-year sequence allows students to develop logical reasoning, algorithmic thinking, design and structured problem solving, and digital literacy. The program teaches a range of skills including keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets, database management, desktop and web publishing, beginning programming, copyright issues and internet research (done in conjunction with the library).

Computer Science Courses

List of 4 items.

  • Computer 5

    This one-trimester course builds on the concepts students learned in grade 4 using the Scratch block-based programming language. Students will learn about sequencing, selection, arithmetic and logical operators, the coordinate plane, parallel behaviors, randomness, variables, loops, conditionals, control structures, broadcasting and receiving messages, and defining new commands. Students will work on projects based on tiling patterns, drawing geometric figures, interactive behaviors between sprites, exploring place value, proportionality, ratios, and scale.
  • Computer 6

    This one-trimester course introduces students to the evolution of computing devices and the growth of computing needs. Students learn about the binary number system and how computers make use of binary representations. For the second part of the trimester, students learn how to create websites using HTML and CSS. They will learn about different ways to organize their content and to make the interface and experience user-friendly. Students will gain experience in using the developer tools to have a look at the code of any website and to test out parts of their websites.
  • Computer 7

    This one-trimester course continues to develop students’ programming and computational thinking skills. Students work with variables, loops, conditionals, and control structures in SNAP!, a block-based programming environment. The primary focus is on building new blocks to add to the environment or to create functions with different parameters. Almost all of the projects involve programming geometric graphics. Students are also introduced to lists or arrays, and they extend their use of sequencing to include list operations and abstract data types. This course helps them formalize their understanding of relational operators and boolean values as they begin to use logical operators. The final project involves creating a computational art piece.
  • Computer 8

    This one-trimester course begins with a review of basic computational constructs of variables, loops, conditionals, control structures, lists, and making new blocks that act as functions. Students work on more advanced projects using the SNAP! programming environment. This course makes them familiar with basic data structures and algorithms. This course also introduces the concept of recursion and its application in creating geometric patterns.