Honors Computer Science Discoveries


Online for the 2023-2024 School Year

Teacher: Mrs. R. Lang

Email: rclang1@gmail.com

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Course Description: Computer Science Discoveries is an honors level introductory computer science course designed for students in grades 6 and up. I will be using resources adapted for our unique online course format from Code.org's Computer Science Discoveries curriculum. Here's a 2 page curriculum overview!

 In this course, you will:

You will be interacting with your classmates, teacher's assistants (TAs), and teacher (me), primarily through Schoology.com, email, and an unofficial Discord channel. I will post weekly introductory videos to review upcoming assignments and teach key concepts. On Schoology, you will participate in discussions, submit projects, post resources, upload homework, and complete assessments. We will also have some partner coding and group projects that can be completed asynchronously or in real time, depending on students' availability during the year.

Who Should Apply: Anyone interested in creative problem solving, logical thinking, and learning! This course introduces middle and high school students to computer science with plenty of hands-on, "unplugged" lessons that can be completed independently, with distanced classmates, or with family and friends. Honors Computer Science Discoveries is a good unofficial AP preparation course for students not quite ready for the challenges of an AP computer science course.

Prerequisites: There are none! As the name suggests, this course is an introduction to computer science. Its goal is to make computer science accessible and interesting for all! Students taking this course should plan to spend up to 5 hours a week on coursework.

High school students with a background in coding or computer science might want to consider AP Computer Science Principles or AP Computer Science A instead.

Required Materials:

Technical Requirements:

Grading Approach: My goal is to help all students to learn the coursework well enough to earn an A! I loosely follow a standards-based grading approach, where students are graded based on what they know and what they can do rather than on their timeliness or compliance. There will be occasional multiple choice and short answer tests. There are also many projects which comprise a large percentage of the overall course grade. I accept test corrections and late work, and make all the accommodations I can to help all students to succeed. 

Course Dates: I post work each Monday, which is then due the following Monday. There will be weekly TA office hours scheduled in August after I survey enrolled students and TAs to determine the best meeting times. The course will run approximately Monday, September 11th, through approximately Friday, May 16th, 2022, except for the following breaks:

If you need additional time off or flexibility with deadlines, you can always email for adjustments. 

Course Fee: Regular Tuition Fee $650.  Audit: $300. I am committed to helping all students learn computer science, so please contact me if you need help paying for the course.

Please Apply for the Course HERE before submitting payment. I check the applications weekly in the Spring and summer, and I will send you a follow up message with the status of your application before you pay for the course.


Instructor Qualifications: This will be my fifth year teaching this course for PA Homeschoolers (and my seventh year teaching computer science for them overall)! I have now had students successfully take this course, AP CSP and AP CSA who are now TAs for the courses!

I am a lifelong teacher and learner who has taught in public, charter, private and online for AP Homeschoolers, for middle and high school students, for the past 14 years. (I additionally teach AP CSA, Intro. to Java, Advanced Java, and Web Design in person for a local private school). Additionally, I was homeschooled, so I understand how diverse, independent, intelligent and engaged homeschooled students are. I'm excited to be able to offer this course to work alongside students studying computer science! 

In addition to earning my BA in English and Secondary Education from Grove City College, I also have a MS in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University, a certificate from Penn State University Lehigh Valley for teaching English Language Learners, various state teaching certifications for NJ and PA, and educator certifications from various tech companies. To learn more about computer science, I have attended CSpd week once, the annual CSTA conference four times, and a Code.org week long AP CSP Summer Learning Institute. I have also participated in Cooperative Learning Research for Computer Science Principles. I have read for the AP CSP exam as a distributed reader for the past 6 summers as well. The training and scoring of thousands of exams has really given me great insights on how to best prepare our class for the performance task portion of the exam. I am also a CS for All Teachers Ambassador and CS Awesome RPP PD Facilitator.

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