Grade 6 Computer Science: Learning to Create
Students learn how to utilize computers as a creative outlet by Learning to Create. Through a project based approach, students learn programming fundamentals required to create functioning computer programs from scratch, and explore core concepts of variables, conditionals, and use of pre-built library functions. By integrating knowledge from the disciplines of both art and mathematics students learn to program a computer to create dynamic simulations and artistic renderings.
Grade 7 Computer Science: Learning to Interact
In Learning to Interact, students extend the knowledge from their Learning to Create year. Throughout this year, students learn how to organize their programs into methods and functions, utilize loops to complete repetitive tasks, further their understanding of variable types and implement keyboard and mouse listening events to allow users of the student-created programs to interact with their projects. The year focuses on teaching students to deconstruct complex problems into smaller simpler processes. The ability for students to create interactive programs allows them to see how programming can allow users to gain control of programs, unlocking the true power of Computer Science.
Grade 8 Computer Science: Learning to Apply
In this grade 8 course, students utilize the knowledge learned in their grade 6 and grade 7 courses in an applied setting. Students review material learned in previous Middle School computer science courses while also learning how to utilize arrays to enhance the organization of their programs. With a heavy focus on algorithm design, students apply computer science knowledge to history, science, mathematics, and art in several engaging projects. Projects include using the computer to create educational art programs, learning to play student recorded voices for development of history narratives, and controlling 3D printed biological models using programmed microcontrollers. Upon completion of this capstone Middle School computer science course, students are prepared to apply computer science to a variety of other disciplines and further their pursuit of computer science in Winchester Thurston’s myriad Upper School courses.