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Computer Science

Technology is a natural part of teaching and learning here.

Women are perpetually under represented in Computer Science, and as an all-girls school we are particularly well-suited to address the deficit.

 

National Coalition of Girls' Schools research shows that girls' school graduates are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider technology careers compared to girls who attend coed schools.

SEM graduates are well-prepared for a future expanded by opportunities to learn beyond the walls of their classroom, by seamless access to information, and by teachers who appreciate the creative possibilities inherent in technology.

 

Dynamic and engaging teachers will always be the most important component of a SEM education but full technology integration offers additional resources for creative instruction.

 

 

Course Descriptions

Coding Workshop

This required trimester-long mini-course introduces our freshmen to basic  computer programming concepts and career opportunities using MIT SCRATCH and Code.org activities.

Introduction to Computer Science

This full-year online course is for those who may be interested in a career in computer science. Students will be immersed in real computer programming work; including html, JavaScript, mobile apps, augmented reality, Processing and more.We will also explore relevant topics from computer history through current issues; including artificial intelligence and robotics. The course is taught completely online through a shared One Note Notebook and other online resources. Online courses help students develop independent learning and time management skills which are essential for college and beyond. We will occasionally meet as a class for special projects, guest speakers and perhaps a field trip or two!

Python Programming

Students learn computer programming concepts using the object-oriented Python language. This teacher-facilitated course uses an online platform with tutorials and projects. We meet as a class only 2 shorts each rotation.Students should expect to spend approx. 4-5 hours per rotation working on the course material outside of class.

Technology Entrepreneurship

What's your favorite App? Do you have a great idea for an even better one? In this class, you will learn how to design and market your own App. In teams of 3 or 4, students focus on a problem and design an App to solve it. Ms. Adamczyk and Ms. Kelly team up to guide you through learning the basics of App programming and the basics of creating a business plan and a marketing strategy. Student teams test their ideas and pitch to the SEM community. The final step is making the App live on Google Play or the App Store. The class prerequisites are enthusiasm and ability to work in a team; we meet as class 2 shorts each rotation but students should expect to work about 5 hours per rotation on the course material outside of class.

Artificial Intelligence

This branch of computer science has the potential to change life on this planet more drastically than the invention of the wheel.  This class will research and discuss AI's beginnings, current trends, and the social implications of where we may be headed. Students will create chatbots using IBM Watson, an AI tool used by companies and organizations around the world. This generation needs to become the gatekeeper to ensure that AI will not be humanity's last invention!

Virtual Reality / Artificial Intelligence Team Project

In this project-based course students learn real-world collaboration skills by working together to create an educational virtual reality experience using Unity Game Engine. IBM Watson, and Oculus Rift. Last year, this class worked with the foreign language teachers to create an immersive conversation taking place in either French or Spanish. This year it could be a visit to an historical landmark, a math quest,  or a visit to outer space!

 

Video Game Design

This teacher-facilitated online course for students with a serious interest in the field of game design incorporates video lectures, an online game design lab, and a final game design project. The course provides a hands-on introduction to the following areas of game design: history of game development, industry terminology, game theory, game documentation, developing characters, level design and environment, game structure and mechanics, common design theories, game development careers, and ethics in video games. We meet as a class only 2 shorts each rotation.Students should expect to spend approx. 4-5 hours per rotation working on the course material outside of class.

AP Computer Science A

AP Computer Science A teaches object-oriented programming using the Java language and is meant to be the equivalent of a first semester, college-level course in computer science. It will emphasize problem-solving and algorithm development, and use hands-on experiences and examples so that students can apply programming tools and solve complex problems. This course prepares students for the AP CS Exam in May.  The format of this course is blended and meets twice a rotation.

AP Computer Science Principles

Through our partnership with the Online School for Girls, students interested in pursuing a computer science career take this course online. The course investigates the “big ideas” found in our digital world such as the creativity in finding solutions to authentic problems, how data and information are used to forecast events and predict behaviors, and the global impacts of technology and the internet. Students prepare for the AP Computer Science Principles exam in May.