Computer Science Principles

Introduction | Syllabus | Pacing Guide | Help Desk

Introduction to Computer Science

How can computing change the world? What is computer science? Engage your creativity, demonstrate and build your problem solving ability all while connecting the relevance of computer science to the society! Computer Science (CS) Principles is an intellectually rich and engaging course that is focused on building a solid understanding and foundation in computer science. This course emphasizes the content, practices, thinking and skills central to the discipline of computer science. Through both its content and pedagogy, this course aims to appeal to a broad audience. The focus of this course will fall into these computational thinking practices: connecting computing, developing computational artifacts, abstracting, analyzing problems and artifacts, communicating, and collaborating.

Pacing Guide

Due dates listed on the pacing guide are guidelines and official due dates are found in itsLearning on the planner along with the weekly schedule and resources.

Unit Semester Year Long
Unit 1 - Leadership Development & Careers in Computer Science August 7 August 7
Unit 2 - Introduction to CS & Computational Thinking August 14 August 21
Unit 3 - Introducton to Programming using Processing and Java August 21 September 5
Unit 4 - Creating Programs by using Methods, Variables, and Expressions September 5 October 2
Unit 5 - Loops to Solve Problems in Programming September 18 October 30
Unit 6 - Creating Interactivity in Programming Using Conditionals October 9 December 4
Unit 7 - Creating Digital Artifacts Using Multimedia October 23 January 8
Unit 8 - Models and Simulations in Computing November 6 February 5
Unit 9 - Understanding the Data Process and Big Data November 13 February 26
Unit 10 - Operations and Abstractions of the Internet December 4 March 26
Unit 11 - Social Impact of Computing on Society December 11 April 23

What is Computer Science?

One of Mrs. Rush's Computer Science classes defined computer science as "Computer Science is the understanding of programming, computer functions and problem solving as well as how it applies to other fields, and the social impact on the user."

Another Computer Science class defined computer science as "Computer Science is the study of building and writing computer programs, solving problems with algorithms and understanding how hardware and software works, promoting educational opportunities and helping to expand social opportunity, connecting to different aspects of life, and evolving into something greater than the present."

Various forms of technologies will be used to expose students to resources and application of computer science. Professional communication skills and practices, problem-solving, ethical and legal issues, and the impact of effective presentation skills are enhanced in this course to prepare students to be college and career ready. Employability skills are integrated into activities, tasks, and projects throughout the course standards to demonstrate the skills required by business and industry.

Computer Science Principles is the second course in the pathways Programming and Computer Science in the Information Technology Cluster. Students enrolled in this course should have successfully completed Introduction to Digital Technology.

Where did all of this technology get started? Let's take a look at the world's first computer.

Competencies in the co-curricular student organization, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), are integral components of both the employability skills standards and content standards for this course. Various forms of technologies will be highlighted to expose students to the emerging technologies impacting the digital world. Professional communication skills and practices, problem-solving, ethical and legal issues, and the impact of effective presentation skills are taught in this course as a foundational knowledge to prepare students to be college and career ready. The knowledge and skills taught in this course build upon each other to form a comprehensive introduction to digital world.


Download the Computer Science Principles syllabus. Information contained in the syllabus is subject to change if necessary.

Help Desk

Students who experience technical difficulties with itsLearning or Infinite Campus should contact Forsyth Virtual Academy for assistance.

Students who experience technical difficulties with the lessons or should contact Mrs. Rush through the itsLearning email client or at

Assignment: What is Computer Science?

Directions: Do you know what Computer Science is? Write your own definition of computer science and add it to the What is Computer Science discussion board. Then create a custom digital artifact such as an Animoto, infographic or poster (Word document or single PowerPoint slide acceptable) that illustrates your definition.

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Copyright Shannon Anderson-Rush, 2017