Computer Science2021-07-15T15:43:31-05:00

Computer Science

At a time when computer science affects how we work and live, PLTW Computer Science empowers students in grades 9-12 to become creators, instead of merely customers, of the technology all around them.

The program’s interdisciplinary courses engage in compelling, real-world challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn computational thinking – not just how to code – and become better thinkers and communicators. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.

PLTW Computer Science courses are part of the AP + PLTW computer science pathway.

Computer Science Essentials (9th and 10th grade)

In Computer Science Essentials, students will use visual, block-based programming and seamlessly transition to text-based programming with languages such as Python to create apps and develop websites, and learn how to make computers work together to put their design into practice. They’ll apply computational thinking practices, build their vocabulary, and collaborate just as computing professionals do to create products that address topics and problems important to them.

Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles (10th and 11th Grade)

Using Python as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. Computer Science Principles helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include video game and mobile app development, website development, database creation and management, cyber security, and model simulations. PLTW is recognized by the College Board as an endorsed provider of curriculum and professional development for AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP). This endorsement affirms that all components of PLTW CSP’s offerings are aligned to the AP Curriculum Framework standards and the AP CSP assessment.

AP Computer Science A

Introductory college-level computer science course. Students cultivate their understanding of coding through analyzing, writing, and testing code as they explore concepts like modularity, variables, and control structures in the Java language. In addition to precision of expression, Java supports important elements of problem solving, including object-orientation, abstraction, and encapsulation. The use of Java also allows students to test potential solutions to problems by running programs. Because the Java programming language is extensive with far more features than could be covered in a single introductory course, AP Computer Science A covers a subset of Java.   


Student explore the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Available at St. Paul’s, Fall of 2019.