Canyon Lake Middle School

Skip to main content
En Español
Mr. Joseph Quinn » Advanced Computers (Computer Science)

Advanced Computers (Computer Science)

Computer Science


Advanced Computers ("Computer Science")

In 1995, Steve Jobs said “Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer…. Because it teaches you how to think.” Decades later, evidence is growing to support the idea that learning computer science and coding, helps students far beyond the direct benefits of digital literacy or careers in tech.

Computer Science is Foundational for Every Student

Computing is so fundamental to understanding and participating in society that it is valuable for every student to learn as part of a modern education. Computer science as a liberal art, a subject that provides students with a critical lens for interpreting the world around them. Computer science prepares all students to be active and informed contributors to our increasingly technological society whether they pursue careers in technology or not. Computer science can be life-changing, not just skill training.

You will begin by learning computer science on, a fun, creative platform for learning computer science and basic coding to create interactive animations, games, or apps.

After completing a series of lessons in, students will transition into the programming using the coding language Python via Codesters *(see description of Codesters below). We will also be doing CAD design along with 3D printing, as well as coding robotic drones. 

Why computer science

Six different studies show: children who study computer science perform better in other subjects, excel at problem solving, and are 17% more likely to attend college. Computer science teaches students critical thinking, problem solving, and digital citizenship, and benefits all students, no matter what opportunities they pursue in the future. And learning to make interactive animations, code-art, games, and apps on encourages creativity and makes learning fun.

In this introductory course, students will learn the foundational concepts and skills of computer science (CS). They will transition from being the consumers of technology to the creators of technology, and they will explore how to use the power of computers to solve big, real-world problems. The course is designed to be fun, engaging, relevant, collaborative, and creative. Students will build their understanding of computing concepts using many unplugged activities and will apply their understanding through creative projects. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to making animations, music, drawings, video production, MS Office applications, OS applications, and games, as well as program robots.

 What is Codesters?

Codesters combines a fun online coding platform for students, a powerful learning management system for teachers, and built-out coding lessons so you can start teaching kids to code in your school today.

Codesters lets students create interactive projects in Python. A unique drag-to-text toolkit guides students through text-based coding, while engaging them with sprites and animations.

Students use Python to build projects through structured lessons, then modify their code to create custom projects. Codesters use multiple exit points to support differentiated instruction.


Goals Coding Certifications

  • PCA & PCS At the end of this class (3 years), students should be ready to take the PCA (Python Coding Apprentice exam) v.1 and possibly have student ready to take the PCS (Python Coding Specialist Certification exam) 
  • IT Specialist The Information Technology Specialist program is a way for students validate entry level IT skills sought after by employers. The IT Specialist program is aimed at candidates who are considering or just beginning a path to a career in information technology.
    • Candidates for this exam should be able to recognize and write syntactically correct Python code that will logically solve a given problem and recognize data types supported by Python.
    • Candidates are expected to have had at least 150 hours of instruction and/or hands-on
      experience with the Python programming language, be familiar with its features and capabilities, and understand how to write, debug, and maintain well-formed, well-documented Python code.
    • To be successful on the test, the candidate is also expected to have the following prerequisite knowledge and skills:
      • 8th grade reading skills
      • Basic computer skills
      • Algebra I 
  • NOTE: The exams do have a cost and that may not be covered by CLMS or LEUSD. This is an optional exam that students may wish to take on their own. I will do my best to ensure this is part of the Advanced Computer Class, but no promises are given.