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  • Writer's pictureEli Hardegree

Cracking the Code: AP Computer Science Principles

Within the past decade, the world has grown rapidly more reliant on technology. The development of computers and smart devices has become a new "normal" in everyday lives, and understanding how this technology works is essential in modern society.

As one of the over 30 AP courses offered at Columbus High, AP Computer Science Principles provides students with a hands-on learning experience of the technology that powers our world.

The class is an introductory-level course designed for students with no prior computing experience. It is offered to 10th-12th grade students. Prerequisites include a final average of at least 85 in all math courses taken and approval from the AP Computer Science teacher, Mr. Richardson (Room 120).

Contrary to other AP courses, AP Computer Science Principles is a project-based course. In the class, students study a variety of topics, including how the internet works and the ethics of computer-based commerce. They also learn basic programming.

"We learn enough so that you can do a project at the end," explains Richardson.

This project makes up 30% of a student's final grade, with the other 70% being the final exam.

Columbus High School offers two AP Computer Science classes: AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A. They alternate between one another each year, with next year's class being Principles.

Principles is an introductory course to computer science while Computer Science A focuses strictly on programming. Students must take Principles prior to enrolling in AP Computer Science A.

Overall, AP Computer Science Principles is the first step toward discovering how technology works and why it matters.

Richardson emphasizes the significance of the course, "Of all the things you could do job-wise, computer science is the most relevant course of study that could be valuable. Roughly 55% of new jobs have some piece of computer science tied to them."


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