Computer Science Principles introduces students to the foundational concepts of computer science and challenges them to explore how computing and technology can impact the world. More than a traditional introduction to programming, it is a rigorous, engaging, and approachable course that explores many of the foundational ideas of computing so all students understand how these concepts are transforming the world we live in.
This year-long course can be taught as an AP or non-AP course - no prerequisites required for students or for teachers new to computer science! In addition, our curriculum is available at no cost for anyone, anywhere to teach. For more information about our goals and approach to our courses, please see our curriculum values and our professional learning values.
Interested in teaching the course? Find out more!
Code.org offers hands-on workshops and online support. Over 80,000 teachers have been through our professional development workshops and thousands more attend every month. This year, we even have virtual professional learning options available!
Whether you’re brand new to computer science or an experienced tech teacher looking for the best way to use the Code.org curriculum, our Professional Learning Program is a great way to get started. And teachers love it! Over 90% rank it the best professional development ever.
Code.org is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP® Computer Science Principles. This endorsement affirms that all components of Code.org CS Principles’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CS Principles assessment. Using an endorsed provider affords schools access to resources including an AP CS Principles syllabus pre-approved by the College Board’s AP Course Audit, and officially recognized professional development that prepares teachers to teach this course.
Use, share, and customize the resources, as they are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical ShareAlike License see our Terms of Service. If you are interested in licensing Code.org materials for commercial purposes, contact us.
This course requires that students have access to computers with a modern web browser. At this time, our courses are not optimized for tablets or mobile devices. For more details, check out Code.org's technology requirements.
Many lessons have handouts that are designed to guide students through activities. While these handouts are not required, we highly recommend their use.
In addition to handouts, several lessons call for specific items. You can find these listed below as well as our suggestions for alternatives:
The following supplies are completely optional but will be useful to have on hand for various lessons:
With an approved teacher account you can find answer keys in a blue "Teacher Only" panel that shows in the online lessons and activities.
Teachers in our professional learning program will automatically be approved to view answer keys. If you need an approved teacher account, any teacher can apply for Code Studio access to protected teacher-only materials (answer keys, etc) through this form.
CS Principles was written using the AP CS Principles Framework and prepares students for the AP CS Principles exam. The course has also been aligned to the newly revised 2017 CSTA standards. A summary of standards mappings can be found at curriculum.code.org/csp/standards
We recommend that CS Principles be taught as a full year course, assuming that you meet with students daily or nearly daily for 45 or more minutes. Full-year schedules where students are in class for a similar amount of time per week will also work.
It is possible to teach the course on a semester block schedule, though we highly recommend this implementation only be used in the fall semester. Since the AP Performance Tasks are due in late April and require 20 dedicated hours of class time to complete, most schools find there is not enough time to complete the course on a block schedule in the spring.
Yes. Code.org has collaborated closely with partners to make our CS Principles curriculum accessible. Every lesson includes detailed recommendations from the accessCSP project from Outlier Research on how activities can be supplemented and modified to meet the needs of students with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders, including reading disorders, written expression disorders, math disorders, and language disorders. In addition, the Lesson-Specific Adjustment Guides identify the underlying psychological process that each adjustment addresses, including processes related to: aspects of reasoning; areas of language; different types of memory; fine motor; processing, timing, and pacing; aspects of visual processing; and executive functioning, attention, and social skills.
Our partners at AccessCSforAll have created an accessible version of the curriculum and online tools designed specifically for students with these disabilities. AccessCSforAll also runs a summer professional development to help teachers learn how to support these students.
Check out our forum at https://forum.code.org. There you'll find a space for general CS Principles discussion as well as unit- and lesson-specific threads.
Yes, please! Our desire is that the curriculum will be a living document and not something set in stone. We are open to changes or alternatives to lessons so please send us your feedback by using the CS Principles forum.
Our middle and high school programs offer year-round support. The program kicks off with a 5-day summer workshop where you'll have an opportunity to work hands-on with the curriculum and meet other teachers from your area. Throughout the year, we offer online support for upcoming units, forum support, and 1-day quarterly workshops. You don't need any prior computer science experience to get started. And teachers love it! 90% rank it the best professional development ever. Click here to learn more.
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Please see this page about CS Principles Inspirations to read about the influential works in computer science education that form some of the course's philosophical underpinnings.
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