AP Computer Science Principles to be offered next year


With course selection for the 2015-2016 school year in full swing, a few students are choosing to tackle a newly available class—AP Computer Science Principles.

The Staples course catalog describes this new course as a “framework,” with much of the class time dedicated to “collaborating with peers and the larger computing community.”

Nathaniel Dewey, a current physics teacher, will be teaching it next year.

The course’s focus is on creating computational artifacts, connecting computing to everyday life, abstracting problems to find solutions and analyzing both problems and solutions.

This course is available to all rising juniors and seniors but only available to rising sophomores if they have taken the Introduction to Programming class as a prerequisite.

Evan Hruskar ’17 took the Introduction to Web Programming class first semester and plans to take the new AP course next year.

“The internet and computers have become an inseparable part of regular people’s daily lives, and knowing how to program is like being given the keys to the castle,” Hruskar said.

Although Ellie Shapiro ’17 has not taken the introductory course, she is taking AP Computer Science Principles next year. She plans to pursue a career in engineering and believes taking an advanced computer science class will be extremely beneficial.

“Programming is going to be an important and useful skill to have,” Shapiro said. “It’s interesting, stimulating to your mind and requires the ability to problem solve.”

However, some students are able to find value in this class despite having no desire to pursue programming as a career.

As Nicolas Amato ’16 noted, an understanding of computer technology is “immensely useful both professionally but also in everyday life.”

Amato believes this class will help in advancing his computer skills, especially as technology is being integrated more into schools and everyday life. He also believes there are other important factors.

“I’m excited to meet some new people and bond over a mutual love of programming,” Amato said.