Computer Science & Engineering » Computer Science & Engineering Course Descriptions

Computer Science & Engineering Course Descriptions

Computer Science & Engineering Department Chairperson: Mrs. Charity Maricic


Introduction to Design (Project Lead the Way)
Prerequisite: Completion of or concurrent enrollment in Algebra I or higher. $25 Course Fee Required; No textbook is required; Notebook is included in the fee.

(9-12) The major focus of the ID course is to expose students to design process, research and analysis, teamwork, communication methods, global and human impacts, engineering standards, and technical documentation. ID gives students the opportunity to develop skills and understanding of course concepts through activity-, project-, and problem-based (APPB) learning. Used in combination with a teaming approach, APPB-learning challenges students to continually hone their interpersonal skills, creative abilities and understanding of the design process. It also allows students to develop strategies to enable and direct their own learning.

(Meets CSU/UC “f” requirement)
Honors PLTW Principles of Engineering
Prerequisite: Completion of a “C” or better in Introduction to Design and completion or concurrent enrollment in Algebra 2 or higher math class. $25 Course Fee Required; No textbook is required; Notebook is included in the fee.

(10-12) This survey course of engineering exposes students to some of the major concepts they’ll encounter in a post secondary engineering course of study. Students have an opportunity to investigate engineering and high-tech careers and to develop skills and understanding of course concepts. The problems presented are seeking to engage and challenge while students explore a broad range of engineering topics, including mechanisms, the strength of structures and materials, and automation. Students develop skills in problem solving, research, and design while learning strategies for design process documentation, collaboration, and presentation.

(Meets CSU/UC “d” requirement & Honors designation)
Honors PLTW Digital Electronics
Prerequisite: A cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and “B” or better each semester in Pre-calculus (OR “A” each semester in Honors Algebra 2). Prerequisite may also be met by with a “C” or better in each semester of POE (Principles of Engineering). $25 Course Fee Required; No textbook is required; Notebook is included in the fee.

(11-12) This course of engineering provides a foundation for students who are interested in electrical engineering, electronics, or circuit design. Students study topics such as combinational and sequential logic and are exposed to circuit design tools used in industry, including logic gates, integrated circuits, and programmable logic devices.

(Meets CSU/UC “d” requirement & Honors designation)
Honors PLTW Engineering Design and Development (Capstone Course)
Prerequisite: Intro to Design and POE, taken during 9th and 10th grade, with a “C” or better AND a “B” or better in one of the following courses: Digital Electronics or AP Computer Science A. Prerequisite may also be met by permission of instructor. $100 Course Fee Required; No textbook is required; notebook is included in the fee.
(12) Engineering Design and Development (EDD) is the capstone course in the PLTW high school engineering program. It is an engineering research course in which students work in teams to design and develop an original solution to a valid open-ended technical problem by applying the engineering design process, ultimately presenting their solution to an outside panel of engineers. The course applies and concurrently develops secondary level knowledge and skills in mathematics, science and technology. The EDD course provides an opportunity for students to apply all the skills and knowledge learned in previous Project Lead The Way courses including the use of 3D design software to develop and document design solutions to the problem their team has chosen. This course also engages students in time management, presentation and teamwork skills.

(Meets CSU/UC “d” requirement & Honors designation)
Computer Science
Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles (PLTW)
Prerequisite: “B” or higher in both semesters of Geometry.

(10-12) The AP Computer Science Principles course is designed to be equivalent to a first-semester introductory college computing course. In this course, students will develop computational thinkings skills vital for success across all disciplines, such as using computational tools to analyze and study data and working with large data sets to analyze, visualize, and draw conclusions from trends. This course is unique in its focus on fostering student creativity. Students are encouraged to apply creative processes when developing computational artifacts and to think creatively while using computer software and other technology to explore questions that interest them. They will also develop effective communication and collaboration skills, working individually and collaboratively to solve problems, and discussing and writing about the importance of these problems and the impacts to their community, society, and world.

(Meets CSU/UC “d” requirement)
Advanced Placement Computer Science A
Prerequisite: Cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher and a “B” or better in Algebra 2 or a “C” or better in Honors Algebra 2.

(10-12) This course offers an in-depth look at the design and implementation of software engineering within the Java programming language. An emphasis is placed on structured programming and object orientation.

(Meets CSU/UC “c” requirements)
Beginning Data Structures & Algorithms
Prerequisite: “A” in A.P. Computer Science A and a score of “4” or higher on the AP CSA exam.

(11-12) Students will study abstract data types and their implementations: lists, stacks, queues, trees, graphs, sets and maps. They will learn to write recursive algorithms, and to conduct complexity analysis of algorithms. They will become familiar with program persistence through data files.

(Meets CSU/UC “c” requirements)