Academics

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Computer Science and Engineering

In the Upper School, students learn to view Computer Science & Engineering as a natural extension of their learning. Students learn how technology can help them to create, communicate, collaborate and code. Students have the opportunity to learn computer science languages such as Python and Java while engaging in the engineering design process to explore, innovate, and iterate. In addition, students will be trained on and learn how to use the tools in the Innovation and Fabrication labs, such as the laser cutter, 3D printers, Arduino circuits, soft circuits, and power tools. These tools and projects help the students to think critically, to solve real-world problems, to make informed decisions, to form engineering habits of mind and to conduct themselves in an ethically responsible way in an ever-evolving world.
  • AP Computer Science A

    Offered to Grades 10–12
    Prerequisite: Introduction to Computer Programming, Computer Science
    Principles, or Recommendation of the Department
    This course emphasizes programming methodology with a concentration
    on problem solving and is meant to be the equivalent of a
    first-semester college-level course in computer science. Students
    design, develop, implement and modify computer-based solutions
    to problems, use and implement well-known algorithms and data
    structures, develop and select appropriate algorithms and data structures
    to solve problems, code in an object-oriented paradigm using
    the programming language Java, identify and understand relationships
    between the major hardware and software components of a
    computer system and recognize the ethical and social implications of
    computer use. Students read and analyze large programs including
    the Advanced Placement Labs. Throughout the course, students
    will design solutions and develop programs that solve real-world
    problems. AP Computer Science A will prepare students for the AP
    Computer Science A examination.
  • App Development

    Offered to Grades 9 - 12
    Mobile apps are increasingly popular tools in our daily lives. New apps are marketed frequently to solve problems and perform tasks. In this course students will learn the process of app development via the design thinking process and the software development life cycle. Students will perform a needs analysis, design an algorithm, develop code, test code, and ultimately maintain app software once it is released to users. Throughout the course students will develop computational-thinking practices, critical-thinking skills, and creativity to solve problems using computer programming. Students code specialized programs that direct the mobile device to perform tasks to manipulate and produce data. The course is primarily project and performance based. Throughout the course, students will design solutions and develop apps that solve real-world problems. Communication and collaboration tools will be integrated daily inside and outside of class. In addition, students will learn the entrepreneurial aspects of app marketing and distribution to consumers.
  • App Development I: User Experience

    Offered to Grades 9–12; 9th Grade by Chair approval
    Mobile apps are increasingly popular tools in our daily lives. These
    innovations continue to advance our creativity, innovation, and design,
    as well as raise questions about our ethical decision-making framework.
    In this introductory course students will engage in the process of app
    development via the design thinking process and the software development
    life cycle. No prior programming experience is required. Students
    will learn how to perform a needs analysis, design an algorithm,
    develop code, test code, and ultimately maintain app software once
    it is released to users. Throughout the courses students will develop
    computational-thinking practices, systems-thinking skills, and creativity
    to solve problems using computer programming.

    Note: Completing App Development I and II and Computer Science:
    Global Impacts aligns with the Advanced Placement Computer Science
    Principles curriculum and, with additional independent work, students
    will be prepared to take the AP exam.
  • App Development II: Ethical Entrepreneurship

    Offered to Grades 9–12; 9th Grade by Chair approval
    The overarching goal of this course is to develop and bring an app to
    market utilizing a human-centered design framework and innovating
    through an ethical lens. Mobile apps are increasingly popular tools in
    our daily lives. New apps are marketed frequently to solve problems
    and perform tasks. These innovations continue to advance our digital
    world, as well as raise questions about our ethical decision-making
    framework. In this advanced app development course students will
    engage in the process of app development via the design thinking
    process and the software development life cycle. Students will enhance
    their programming skills, ability to perform a needs analysis, design an
    algorithm, develop code, test code, and ultimately maintain app software
    once it is released to users. Throughout the courses students will
    develop computational-thinking practices, systems-thinking skills, and
    creativity to solve problems using computer programming.

    Note: Completing App Development I and II and Computer Science:
    Global Impacts aligns with the Advanced Placement Computer Science
    Principles curriculum and, with additional independent work, students
    will be prepared to take the AP exam.
  • Computer Science Principles

    Offered to Grades 10 - 12
    This course introduces students to computer science and its connections to and impact on our global community. Throughout the
    course students will develop computational thinking practices,
    critical thinking skills, and creativity to solve problems using
    computers. Topics include digital information, the Internet, big
    data, cybersecurity, programming, and app development. Via the
    computer programming language of JavaScript, students will code
    programs (instructions) for a computer. The code instructions will
    direct the computer to perform tasks that manipulate and produce
    data. The design thinking process of defining a problem, breaking it
    down into a series of smaller problems, coding a computer program,
    and testing it is a valuable exercise in critical thinking and creativity.
    Throughout the course, students will design and develop programs
    that implement common algorithms. Students will create a cumulative electronic portfolio that includes their projects and reflections.
    Communication and collaboration tools will be integrated daily
    inside and outside of class. In addition, the student is made aware
    of the opportunities and risks in the digital age and realizes that the
    human element is more important than the machine. This course
    aligns with the Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles
    curriculum and supports taking the AP exam.
  • Engineering & the Lived Experience

    Offered to Grades 10–12
    This course engages students in exploring and critiquing innovations
    through a human-centered lens. For example, we will answer the
    question: To what extent is the seat belt safe for all drivers? Following
    this question, students will design and prototype enhancements to
    the seat belt. Throughout the course, students will enhance their
    awareness of various engineering fields; STEM-literacy (science, math,
    engineering, computer programming, critical thinking, and 2D and
    3D visual spatial skills); and engineering habits of mind (systems
    thinking, creativity, optimism, collaboration, communication, and
    ethical consideration). Students will also learn and utilize various
    designing thinking protocols. Students are trained on various tools in
    the Innovation and Fabrication Labs; such as, the 3D printers, laser
    cutter, and power tools.
  • Engineering and the Arts

    Offered to Grades 10–12
    This elective provides an opportunity for students to live at the intersection
    of engineering and the arts where they will explore principles
    of structural engineering and elements of art. Students will learn the
    criteria, content, and skills needed to critique structures through
    scientific, symbolic, and social lenses. Students design, prototype,
    iterate, and communicate pieces of structural art that represent the
    structural engineering and elements of art taught throughout the
    course. They are trained on various tools in the Innovation and
    Fabrication Labs; such as, the 3D printers, laser cutter, and power
    tools. The overarching goal of the course is to enhance students’
    STEM-literacy (science, math, engineering, computer programming,
    critical thinking, and 2D and 3D visual spatial skills); engineering
    habits of mind (systems thinking, creativity, optimism, collaboration,
    communication, and ethical consideration); awareness of various
    engineering fields.
  • Engineering, Ethics, & Entertainment

    Offered to Grades 9–12
    Where do engineering, ethics, and entertainment intersect? What is
    the engineering Code of Professional Ethics, and how does it impact
    innovation? To what extent can we anticipate unintended uses of
    engineering innovation? What ethical considerations must engineers
    ponder as they develop movies and entertainment devices or platforms?
    Students will address these questions as they explore and create at the
    intersection of engineering, ethics, and entertainment. Throughout the
    course, students will enhance their awareness of various engineering
    fields; STEM-literacy (science, math, engineering, computer programming,
    critical thinking, and 2D and 3D visual spatial skills); and
    engineering habits of mind (systems thinking, creativity, optimism,
    collaboration, communication, and ethical consideration). Students
    will also learn and utilize Aruino microcontrollers, p5.js, facets of
    machine learning, principles of discriminatory design, and various
    designing thinking protocols.
  • Introduction to Computer Programming

    The study of programming nurtures and develops problem-solving,
    3D spatialization, and systems thinking skills. This course provides
    an introduction to computer programming by creating interactive
    software applications such as games, science simulations, mathematical
    experiments and animated presentations. While working in the
    programming language of Python students become computer scientists
    as they discover how to design and debug a program and how
    to interact with different parts of the programming environment.
    Throughout the course, students will develop computational thinking
    practices, critical thinking skills and creativity to solve problems
    using computers. To develop problem-solving skills, students use
    the design thinking process and software development life cycle to
    perform a needs analysis, design an algorithm, develop code and test
    code. Programming fundamentals include input and output, data variables, processes, program control flow structures, data structures
    and documentation.
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems

    Offered to Grades 9–12
    Robotics and Autonomous Systems introduces students to the
    innovation and engineering of mechanical systems designed to
    perform tasks under constraints. Through a hands-on, project-based
    curriculum, students gain theoretical knowledge and practical
    experience with building robotic and autonomous systems. Topics
    will include mechanics, friction, gear ratios, torque, sensors, motor
    control, decision-making, and engineering ethics.
  • Web Page Development

    A web page is a dynamic tool for communication and presentation of personal work. First, students examine and research other web pages to discover what designs work and what makes a website “user friendly.” Secondly, students study HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) to create their own web pages. For the remainder of the trimester, students use Dreamweaver, a web-authoring tool, to create web pages. Students start off with simple layers and eventually learn how to import graphics, insert text, use hyperlinks, create tables and use frames. The course also covers what it takes to post and maintain a website on the Internet. For the final web development project, students design and develop a web site to be used in a real-world scenario.

Department Faculty

  • Photo of Judith Bianco
    Judith Bianco
    US Computer Science & Engineering
    Bio
  • Photo of Riddhi Calidas
    Riddhi Calidas
    MS/US Computer Science & Engineering
    Bio
  • Photo of Evelyn Hanna
    Evelyn Hanna
    STEM Innovation, Computer Science and Engineering Chair; Mathematics Chair
    Bio
Kent Place School is an all-girls K through 12 independent college preparatory day school with a coeducational Preschool, located in Summit, NJ.