Students explore the way computers store and represent complex information like numbers, text, images, and sound. The unit begins with students investigating what it means to represent information and challenges students to design their own representation systems. Students then learn the ideas behind real-world systems used to represent complex information. Later lessons focus on the challenges that arise from digitizing information, such as the need to compress it, or questions of intellectual property.
Students learn how the Internet works and discuss its impacts on politics, culture, and the economy. This unit heavily features the Internet Simulator, a tool designed to let students see, use, and explore the way different layers of the internetwork.
Introduction to Programming
Students learn fundamentals of programming, get familiar with code editor and understand fundamental problem-solving skills and tools such as problem decomposition, Flowcharts, Trace Tables, etc. They also learn String manipulation, Math operations, Logical Decisions, Iterations, and re-usable coding.
Students learn to design and analyze algorithms to understand how they work and why some algorithms are considered more efficient than others. They get an intuitive sense of how quickly different algorithms run and the pros and cons of different algorithms. Later in the unit, students explore concepts like undecidable problems and parallel and distributed computing.
Students explore and visualize datasets from a wide variety of topics as they hunt for patterns and try to learn more about the world around them from the data. They learn how different types of visualizations can be used to better understand the patterns contained in datasets and how to use visualizations when investigating hypotheses. Students also learn about the impacts of data analysis on the world around them
Cyber security and Global Impacts
Students research and debate current events at the intersection of data, public policy, law, ethics, and societal impact in the final unit of the course. They also learn about the privacy and security risks of many computing innovations and learn about the ways some of these risks can be mitigated.