DOWNEY – Stauffer Middle School is one of 12 schools nationwide selected to pilot a new computer science course offered by Project Lead the Way (PLTW) where teachers and students use tablet devices as part of an effort to infuse mobile technology into the classroom. Tri Tansopalucks is teaching the pilot course after attending training in Indianapolis in early January.
In the Introduction to Computer Science course, students work in teams to crete simple apps for mobile devices using MIT App Inventor.
They then transfer the programming knowledge gained in App Inventor to learn introductory elements of text-based programming in Python to create strategy games.
Other concepts in the course include the impact of computing on society and the application of computing across career paths, and how students can build skills and awareness in digital citizenship and cybersecurity.
Students also learn to model, simulate and analyze data througha project that focuses on themselves and their interests.
The tablets are donated by Samsung, while Verizon provides 4G data plans at no charge.
The Downey Unified School District is one of only a handful of districts in the nation to offer PLTW in grades K through 12.
Offered at both comprehensive high schools, all four middle schools and all 13 elementary schools, PLTW programs provide DUSD students the opportunity to have hands-on science, technology, engineering and math instruction for all of a student’s 13 years in DUSD.
The Introduction to Computer Science course runs through the end of the school year, and Stauffer Middle School will offer the courese as part of its full PLTW program next year.
Published: April 9, 2015 - Volume 13 - Issue 52