Computer Science and Engineering

Introduction to Engineering Design

Grade 9; 1/4 Credit – Fall or Spring Semester

             This course focuses on the engineering design process. Working within predetermined parameters, and using the resources of the Innovation Center, students will learn and participate in the engineering design process: identify the problem, brainstorm ideas, test the solutions, analyze the results, and iterate the process. By the end of the course, students will have produced an engineering notebook to be used for future curricular or personal designs.


Computer Science Essentials

Grades 9-12; 1/4 Credit – Either Semester

            This introductory course will guide students through the basic knowledge, and skill set, needed to be successful in upper-level computer science courses. Students will be exposed to various programming languages, and platforms, to be given a broad picture of the discipline. They will familiarize themselves with the logic that a computer takes when executing code, and how that code is run through a device. Throughout the course, students will complete basic projects in the following areas: Web Design, Gaming, Artificial Intelligence, and App Creation. This class meets three times per cycle.


Introductory Computer Science

Grades 10-12; 1/2 Credit - Fall Semester

          This elective core course offers students with interest in computer science an opportunity to learn programming. The course is taught from a liberal arts perspective; therefore, students need only to have studied Algebra I and one year of world language as prerequisites. Throughout the semester, students are required to write programs to solve problems while learning the Java programming language. This course is especially appropriate for those students interested in learning problem solving skills and logic. This course is not appropriate for those students who “want to learn more about computers.” General knowledge of current Windows operating systems, and the Holy Ghost Prep network environment is required. Enrollment preference is given to upperclassmen.


Website Programming

Grade 9-12; 1/2 credit - Spring Semester 

          This course provides students with an introduction into the world of website design. It combines the logic of programming, and the art and creativity of design, to help students create interesting and interactive sites. There is also an emphasis on using websites to gather and process information, and how to properly transport that information from a computer to a server. Students will learn the following computer programming languages: HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, and MySQL.


VEX Robotics

Grades 10-12; 1/4 Credit – Fall Semester

           This elective course is for current, or aspiring, part-time and full-time VEX robotics competitors. Students will use the VEX robotics platform to design, build, and program robots to compete at the highest levels of the competition. They will experiment with the basic components of the VEX platform (structure pieces, motors, sensors, and microcontrollers) through open-ended challenges, with an emphasis on the proper documentation of the engineering process. Students will be assessed on their iterative problem solving approach, and on robot performance. This class meets three periods per cycle.


Introduction to Cyber Security

Grades 10-12; 1/4 Credit – Spring Semester

          This co-curricular course prepares students to understand information systems. This course is designed for students who wish to pursue work with computers as a tool to accomplish tasks using pre-designed software. Topics will include, but not be limited to, all Microsoft Office programs, as well as similar open source programs. Database management and design will also be discussed. Students will learn how to write macros for spreadsheets and use a database command language to accomplish tasks. Students will be introduced to basic web page creation techniques and programs. This class meets three periods per cycle.


Engineering I

Grades 10-12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This course will guide students through the proper use of the engineering design process to solve complex problems. The teacher will pose a problem, with constraints and guidelines, and allow the students time to develop and construct a solution. Students will work through multiple iterations of solutions, and document their work along the way. This will be a very interactive, project based course, where students are encouraged to use creativity, and logic, to design solutions for each problem. Students may be using various tools and materials, while they construct projects in the Innovation Lab.


Engineering II

Grades 11, 12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

              Course description forthcoming.


AP Computer Science Principles

Grades 10-12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This advanced placement elective introduces students to the central ideas of computer science. This course focuses on fostering students to be creative and encourages students to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts. In this course, students design and implement innovative solutions using an iterative process similar to what artists, writers, computer scientists, and engineers use to bring ideas to life. By the end of the second semester, students are sufficiently prepared to take the Advanced Placement Exam of the College Board.


AP Computer Science A

Grades 10-12; 1 Credit - Two Semesters

            This advanced placement elective prepares students for entry-level college courses in computer science. Topics include preconditions and postconditions, assertions, and informal analysis of algorithms, as well as many standard searching and sorting algorithms using static data structures. There is a heavy emphasis on recursion. By the end of the second semester, students are sufficiently prepared to take the Advanced Placement Exam of the College Board, Level A. Enrollment in this Advanced Placement section is limited to those students who have shown high aptitude in Math and Science and have departmental approval.


Computer Science Advanced Topics Honors

Grade 12; 1 credit – Two Semesters

            This honors elective is for those students who have shown an exceptional interest in several different aspects of the computer science discipline, and who have successfully completed either AP Computer Science Principles or AP Computer Science A. For the first semester, students in this course will explore various current topics in computer science, and will be led through large-scale programming projects. These topics may include, but are not limited to: database development, software and app creation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cyber security. For the second semester, the class will switch to a research-based, student led model. Students will choose a topic to research, and will be guided through the engineering process, in order to create something new. They will then present their findings, and new developments, to their peers and the community.

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