Curriculum Overview
 Computer Science Fundamentals

Who made this?

We believe that every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science, and the reasons are far more varied than simply having a strong resume. Critical thinking, logic, persistence, and creativity help students excel at problem-solving in all subject areas, no matter what their age.

At, we recognize that this benefit begins early. That's why we partnered with Thinkersmith and Common Sense Media to develop an exciting and engaging curriculum that allows students to explore the limitless world of technology, beginning in elementary school.

It is thanks to our generous donors that we were able to develop and can offer this course at no cost to schools, teachers, or students:

Microsoft, Infosys Foundation USA, Omidyar Network, Google, Ballmer Family Giving, Ali and Hadi Partovi, Bill and Melinda Gates, BlackRock, Jeff Bezos, John and Ann Doerr, Juniper Networks, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, Quadrivium Foundation, Reid Hoffman, Salesforce, Sean N. Parker Foundation, Smang Family Foundation, Verizon

Who is this for?

Kids as young as five years-old!

Computer Science Fundamentals is designed primarily for an elementary school audience, but older students find it to be a helpful starting point as well.

Teachers! (in-school, after-school, or home-school)

This curriculum has been developed for use by all educators of young children. We assume no prior computer science knowledge and have provided clear, detailed lesson plans that can be customized to different situations. Learn with your students!

Which course is for me?’s Computer Science Fundamentals consists of four courses:

The courses are designed to be flexibly implemented. Rather than a rigid pathway based on grade levels, the courses are based on developmental level and prior experience. Teachers and schools can use the course structure to tailor a course sequence to their students’ needs and evolving experience.

Course Structure

Our research-based curriculum uses a spiraling education design, in which concepts and skills are revisited in each course while delving deeper each time.

Each course experience is a blend of online activities and "unplugged" activities (lessons in which students can learn computing concepts with or without a computer). The online experiences are composed of mostly self-guided and self-paced tutorials, which use scaffolded sets of programming instructions to explore and practice algorithmic thinking. The unplugged lessons take a hands-on, often kinesthetic approach, making use of physical manipulatives to model computational concepts.

Each course consists of about 18 to 22 lessons, each lasting between 25 and 45 minutes. They can be taught at a comfortable pace whether in consecutive days as a sub-unit or one day a week for 18 weeks. The content of each course builds conceptually on the previous course, so that a student can progress through all four experiences learning new concepts along the way.’s K-5 curriculum aligns to CSTA Computer Science Standards and ISTE standards, while some lessons also integrate national Math, English Language Arts, and Science standards.

The use of Computer Science Themes scaffolds the development of ideas and recognizes the continual construction of knowledge:

Across the entire K-5 curriculum, students will develop the skills of a computer scientist through the development of Computational Thinking Practices:

Technology Requirements

A computing device and an Internet connection.

We work hard to build an environment that is supported by all modern web browsers on desktops and mobile devices, but you'll have the most success with an up-to-date browser (preferably Firefox, Chrome, or Safari).

Our instructional videos may be affected depending on your school's internet filters. If YouTube is blocked at your school, our video player will attempt to use our non-YouTube player instead. For more details about the IT requirements for accessing and playing our embedded videos, see our IT requirements page.

We’ve also made all our videos available for download. During the tutorials, there is a green download link for each video, allowing students to download individual videos. If all fails, there is a “Show Notes” tab that provides a storyboard equivalent of the video.

Getting Help

The curriculum is completely free for anyone, anywhere to teach. You can get support by visiting If you are a teacher and you'd like to attend a free training on our K-5 Computer Science curriculum, look here for a workshop near you, or look for our online PD at