A year-long high school course designed to introduce students to the central ideas of computer science and prepare them for the AP CS Principles Exam.
This course aligns with the College Board’s new 2020 Computer Science Principles framework covering Creative Development, Data, Computing Systems and Networks, Algorithms and Programming, Computing's Impact on Society.
This introductory course is designed for first-time computer science students with no prior coding experience and has no prerequisites beyond Algebra I.
The course introduces general programming concepts using Python, the most popular programming in introductory CS college courses. Students get a crash course in practical programming concepts, like creating procedures, using variables, and control flow.
Students must complete coding challenges from domains like finance, biotechnology, and environmental studies. The course also teaches programming concepts and algorithms using Python, and then maps this knowledge to pseudocode that’s required for the AP CS Principles exam, as per specification on page 205 of the College Board AP CSP exam description.
In AP Computer Science Principles, students will explore the following big ideas in computer science while gaining foundational computational thinking skills:
- Understand the software development life cycle from identifying a problem to collaboration, design, implementation, and iterative improvement of a computing solution.
- Learn how computers represent data and "make decisions" — learn how to analyze and visualize data using charting and plotting techniques.
- Learn how to design and use algorithms—and how their efficiency impacts the execution of a program.
- Understand foundational computing concepts: how the Internet works, and learn more about advanced topics like fault tolerance, artificial intelligence, distributed systems, and parallel processing.
- Explore the impact of computing on society; including ethical and legal concerns, privacy, the digital divide, crowdsourcing, and other side effects.
- Prepare for both the Create performance task section and multiple-choice Exam.
- Python syntax
- Conditional logic
- Nested loops
- Simple loops
- Conditional loops
- Data types
- Turtle graphics
- Artificial Intelligence
* Online courses require a modern desktop computer, laptop computer, Chromebook, or Netbook with Internet access and a Chrome (29+), Firefox (30+), Safari (7+), or Edge (20+) browser. No downloads required.
AP Computer Science Principles Lesson Plan
Unit 1: Computing Innovations
Mark Your Calendar
- AP CSP Create Task Due Date (corresponds to Unit 9)
- AP CSP Exam Date (corresponds to Unit 11)
Suggested Unit Pacing Guide
|Week 1||School-specific orientation, Lessons 1.1-1.3|
|Week 2||Lessons 1.4-1.8|
|Week 3||Lessons 1.9-1.12|
- Two or three days at the start of the school year for school and classroom orientation activities
- A few days that class will not meet due to unexpected interruptions such as fire drills or assemblies
- A few days that school does not meet due to weather or teacher professional development
- Several days that class will not meet due to school-wide standardized testing
- Reduce or eliminate some Pair Programming Challenges
- Reduce or eliminate the "if time available" parts of lessons
- After each Unit, spend one day in AP Classroom assigning students more practice problems
- Provide students more time on the Semester Create Task
- Allow students to revise and resubmit their Semester Create Task based on your feedback
- Revisit Pair Programming Challenges and expect students to complete more of the challenges
Assign Problems from AP Classroom
- 1.1 Collaboration: CRD-1.ABC
- 5.1 Beneficial and Harmful Effects: IOC-1.AB