Applications for the 2017-18 CS Discoveries Professional Learning Program are now open! We are accepting applications until March 17, 2017, so apply now if you're ready to get started.
CS Discoveries is an introductory Computer Science course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with CS as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun. The course will be piloted in Spring 2017, with full rollout Summer 2017.
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CS Discoveries is designed from the ground up to be an accessible and engaging course for all students, regardless of background or prior experience. By providing students opportunities to engage with culturally and personally relevant topics in a wide variety of CS related fields we hope to show all students that CS can be for them.
We know that students engage differently with real world physical objects than with virtual software, and that the process of making physical artifacts is a powerful tool for fun, engaging, and lasting learning experiences. CS Discoveries has the Maker ethos embedded throughout, providing students the opportunity to see and participate in the physical act of creation alongside the more abstract elements of computer science.
Our new course, CS Discoveries, is being designed to fit naturally between our CS Fundamentals course for K-5 and our CS Principles course for AP/Honors high school students. This allows us to offer districts, teachers and students a complete pathway of courses that build on each other and flow naturally together.
CS Discoveries will be designed primarily for students in grades 7-9, so it can be used in middle school or high school. The two semesters spiral upon each other, allowing the course to be taught as a single semester, two sequential semesters, a full-year course, or even integrated into existing technology classes.
Computer Science encompasses far more than just coding, and CS Discoveries will provide students with opportunities to explore the many facets of CS, both in terms of how they are personally relevant as well as how they impact society.
The first semester of CS Discoveries introduces students to computer science as a vehicle for problem solving, communication, and personal expression. As a whole this semester focuses on the visible aspects of computing and computer science, encouraging students to see where computer science exists around them and how they can engage with it as a tool for exploration and expression.
Where the first semester centers on the immediately observable and personally applicable elements of computer science, the second semester asks students to look outward and explore the impact of computer science on society. Students will see how a thorough user-centered design process produces a better application, how their personal data is collected and used on the web, and they will work with bare circuit boards to see how computers collect input and return output in a variety of ways. Through the entirety of this semester student groups will continue to iterate on and refine a mobile app that integrates everything they’ve learned throughout the course into one capstone project.
We are releasing drafts of CS Discoveries units as they are finished, and would love for teachers and others in the CS education community to try them out and provide feedback. On the first page of every lesson plan, there is a Give Us Feedback! button that will open up a quick survey you can fill out with your thoughts and feedback. We really appreciate it!
|Unit||Lesson Plans||Code Studio|
|Unit 1 - Problem Solving: Computers and Logic||Lesson plans||Code Studio|
|Unit 2 - The Internet: Web Development||Lesson plans||Code Studio|
|Unit 3 - Programming: Interactive Games and Animations||Lesson plans||Code Studio|
|Unit 4 - Problem Solving: The Design Process||Lesson plans||Code Studio|
The CS Discoveries course is deeply inspired by the philosophy of ECS, based on our experience teaching ECS, scaling it to thousands of classrooms nationwide, and evaluation of feedback from the teachers. This course teaches similar core concepts as ECS, and has a shared inquiry-based philosophy and teacher-learner-observer PD model. It also shares the same emphasis on equity which has pervaded Code.org's curriculum in other grade levels.
Learn more about Code.org's transition to CS Discoveries from Exploring Computer Science.
We will pilot the new course materials during the spring of 2016-17 with a group of 45 teachers across the US. The course will roll out formally in Summer 2017. Check back to this website frequently as we release drafted lesson plans!
We are developing the course using the K-12 CS Framework and the interim CSTA standards as guidance. Once the course is complete, and the revised CSTA standards have been released, we will provide a mapping to those standards.