Academic Program
Middle School

Computer Science

Computer Science

The Middle School Computer Science curriculum gives students opportunities to experience the powerful ideas of computing through a variety of applications, such as physical computing, robotics, video games, 3D animation, web development, and visual design.
Students code, design, and build hands-on projects that develop their problem solving skills, computational expertise and innovative thinking. As students see their own creative ideas through from concept to final product, they utilize the iterative process of design, an essential component of computational thinking. There is an emphasis on developing coding habits of mind and practice, as well as algorithmic thinking. Students learn to decompose problems, brainstorm solutions, and embrace experimentation and revision.

Middle School Computer Science Sequence

List of 5 items.

  • Grade 5: Creative Computing I

    This course builds on the coding concepts and skills learned in the Lower School. Students will expand their capacity to work with fundamental programming concepts like variables, conditional statements, and loops. Computational concepts and skills will be applied to engaging, creative projects in the areas of digital fabrication, artificial intelligence, and physical computing. Students will have opportunities to explore and generate their project ideas both individually and collaboratively.
  • Grade 6: Creative Computing II

    All Grade 6 and Grade 8 students engage in two programming-intensive units in their science classes throughout the academic school year. During the unit, students meet four times a week.

    This course helps develop students’ programming skills and habits of mind through a study of 3D animation, as well as design thinking through physical computing using circuits.
  • Grade 7: Robotics

    This elective course offers students an opportunity to continue their work in computer science. Students are introduced to the field of robotics and study the role it plays in present-day life. Students design and build objects that interact with the physical world through sensors, motors and LEDs. Project work forms a major part of the course, and in the spring, students participate in a citywide robotics event.
  • Grade 8: Creative Computing III

    As part of an interdisciplinary partnership with the Science Department, all Grade 6 to 8 students engage in two programming-intensive units in their science classes throughout the academic school year. During the unit, students meet four times a week.
    In this course, students continue to learn the fundamentals of programming by creating user-centered projects using p5.js, and hone their design skills in a web development unit using HTML and CSS.
  • Grade 8: Physical Computing

    Physical Computing studies microcontroller technology and its presence in everyday technologies. Students will work with an assortment of microcontrollers to design, program and construct smart devices that interact with the environment. Microcontrollers, sensors, LEDs, buzzers and actuators will be embedded into physical objects—some wearable, others stationary—that have specific purposes and functions. Programming, engineering and making are essential elements of this course.

Explore Our Curriculum

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