AP Computer Science Principles

A 9th- 12th Grade Elective Course: AP Computer Science Principles

Teacher: Ms. Rioux; Email: jrioux@mvusd.net

This course is one of the few that allows 9th graders to enroll.  However, since some aspects require an understanding of mathematical concepts such as functions and logic, all students must meet the prerequisite regardless of grade level.

This is NOT a programming class.  Though students are introduced to basic programming using JavaScript, this is not the primary focus.  Students who have coding backgrounds will find many of the topics covered here are never addressed in other computer courses.  This allows students of all abilities and technological backgrounds to have equal opportunities for success. 

The greatest benefit derived from taking this course may very well be that students will gain a better understanding of the digital age in which we live.  They will understand their digital footprint, the importance of security, the delicate balance of privacy and the global nature of technology.  They will be better prepared to enter the dialogue so prevalent in our society of the concerns we face on a daily basis related to computers and all that implies.

AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A are two distinct courses.  Students may choose to take one or both in any order or concurrently.

Description from AP approved syllabus:

AP® Computer Science Principles Code.org’s Computer Science Principles (CSP) curriculum is a full year, rigorous, entry-level course that introduces high school students to the foundations of modern computing. The course covers a broad range of foundational topics such as programming, algorithms, the Internet, big data, digital privacy and security, and the societal impacts of computing.

Prerequisite:  Pass Integrated Math 1 or Algebra 1 with a C or better.


This course adopts the material presented by code.org which has been approved by college board as surpassing the requirements for an introductory course in computer science principles.  Each unit includes a performance task in which students practice the concepts addressed.  These performance tasks involve creativity, autonomy and communication of complex ideas.

In addition to this core material, students may have the opportunity to engage in projects such as Lego Mindstorms robotics, Alice computer animation, Greenfoot game creation and Andriod Studio apps for mobile devices.