Dear Guardian and Student

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August 2015

Dear Guardian and Student,
Welcome to Fall 2015 Computer Science Engineering at the Anderson Career and Technology Center. My name is Lisa Lennon; I am one of five PLTW instructors at the ACTC. I also teach BioTech Engineering and Introduction to Engineering and Design. You can find more information about the career center on our website at
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a not-for-profit organization (from the Rochester Institute of Technology), that promotes pre-engineering courses for middle and high school students. PLTW forms partnerships with public schools, higher education institutions, and the private sector to increase the quantity and quality of engineers and engineering technologists graduating from our educational system. There is a critical shortage of engineers and engineering technologists entering the field at a time when technology is constantly reinventing itself every few years. For more information and answers to frequently asked questions about PLTW, please visit their website at:
I feel it is very important for parents and teachers to communicate. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your concerns. The best way to reach me is through email at , or you may leave me a voicemail at (847- 4121 ext. 2258).
In an effort to use less paper I have posted my course syllabus online. It can be found at our classroom homepage: Hard-copies are available upon request for those who cannot access it electronically. Students should be in the habit of checking the website regularly, as it contains information about deadlines, current and upcoming projects, rubrics and more.
I am excited about the new school year in which your student will have a productive and successful experience in IED. I hope that upon finishing this course your student will choose to continue on to other upper level PLTW courses being offered at the Career and Technology Center.
Lisa Lennon

Project Lead the Way Instructor

Please sign and return this portion for a grade in your student’s secondary grades category; maintain the upper portion for your records.

I understand how to contact Mrs. Lennon if I have questions and concerns, and can access the class website for current information. I understand that my student will receive a “100” in their minor grade category when they return this signed portion (in the meantime, a “0” will serve as a placeholder).

_____ Yes, I need a hardcopy of the Syllabus

_____ No, I do not need a hardcopy of the Syllabus
Student Name_______________________ Parent signature___________________________
Anderson 1 & 2 Career and Technology Center

Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE)

Course Syllabus


Lisa B Lennon

Room #:


Grade Level:

# of Credits:

11th and 12th


Abelson, H., Leedon , K., & et al, K. (2008). Blown to bits:your life, liberty, and happiness after the digital explosion. Boston, MA: Addison-Wesley Professional.


Student must complete Introduction to Engineering Design (IED), Principles of Engineering (POE), and Digital Electronics (DE) prior to enrolling in this course.



Project Lead the Way announces a new, full-year course to be piloted in Fall 2013. The course, falling within PLTW’s Pathway to Engineering, is project- and problem-based, with students working in teams to develop computational thinking and solve open-ended, practical problems that occur in the real world. The course aligns with the College Board’s new CS Principles framework, as well as ABET and National Education Standards. The course is not a programming language course; it aims instead to develop computational thinking, to generate excitement about the field of computing, and to introduce computational tools that foster creativity.
PLTW Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE) engages students in projects and problems to address the fundamental question:

How do creative abstraction and computational power change our lives?
From the ACTC Course Catalog:
CSE-Computer Science and Software Engineering

Students work in teams to develop computational thinking and solve open-ended, practical problems that occur in the real world. The course aligns with the College Board’s new CS Principles framework. Students will engage problems requiring graphical response to user input. Fundamental computer science concepts like recursion, objects, classes, events, and efficiency are introduced using Alice and Scratch software. They will be introduced to code writing, networking, privacy, and security using tools like HTML, CSS, and PHP to create interactive Web pages. Students will use face-recognition applications and AppInventor to develop Android apps, while engaging in problems involving social networks, discrete mathematics, and eCommerce. Using languages such as Python, students will engage problems involving predictions based on computer models; concepts like probability, chaos, fractals, and artificial intelligence will be developed.

Course Goals, Standards, and Learning Objectives:

Engineering programs must demonstrate that their students have attainment of ABET, Inc. requirements at the basic educational level for entry into engineering practice:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

  • an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

  • an ability to communicate effectively

  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

  • a knowledge of contemporary issues

  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

National Educational Standards: Alignment with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards will be published by July, 2013.
Computer Science Principles: Learning Objectives

Big Idea I: Creativity. The student can …

LO 1: use computing tools and techniques to create artifacts.

LO 2: collaborate in the creation of computational artifacts.

LO 3: analyze computational artifacts.

LO 4: use computing tools and techniques for creative expression.

LO 5: use programming as a creative tool.

Big Idea II: Abstraction. The student can …

LO 6: describe the combination of abstractions used to represent data.

LO 7: explain how binary sequences are used to represent digital data.

LO 8: develop an abstraction.

LO 9: use multiple levels of abstraction in computation.

LO 10: use models and simulations to raise and answer questions.

Big Idea III: Data. The student can …

LO 11: use computers to process information to gain insight and knowledge.

LO 12: collaborate when processing information to gain insight and knowledge.

LO 13: communicate how computer programs are used to process information to gain insight and knowledge.

LO 14: use computing to facilitate exploration and the discovery of connections in information.

LO 15: use large datasets to explore and discover information and knowledge.

LO 16: analyze the considerations involved in the computational manipulation of information.

Big Idea IV: Algorithms. The student can …

LO 17: develop an algorithm.

LO 18: express an algorithm in a language.

LO 19: appropriately connect problems and potential algorithmic solutions.

LO 20: evaluate algorithms analytically and empirically.

Big Idea V: Programming. The student can …

LO 21: explain how programs implement algorithms.

LO 22: use abstraction to manage complexity in programs.

LO 23: evaluate a program for correctness.

LO 24: develop a correct program.

LO 25: collaborate to solve a problem using programming.

LO 26: employ appropriate mathematical and logical concepts in programming.

Big Idea VI: Internet. The student can …

LO 27: explain the abstractions in the Internet and how the Internet functions.

LO 28: explain characteristics of the Internet and the systems built on it.

LO 29: analyze how characteristics of the Internet and systems built on it influence their use.

LO 30: connect the concern of cyber-security with the Internet and systems built on it.

Big Idea VII: Impact. The student can …

LO 31: analyze how computing affects communication, interaction, and cognition.

LO 32: collaborate as part of a process that scales.

LO 33: connect computing with innovations in other fields.

LO 34: analyze the beneficial and harmful effects of computing.

LO 35: connect computing within economic, social, and cultural contexts.

© 2012 The College Board. All rights reserved.

Computer Science: Principles is a pilot course under development. It is not an official Advanced Placement course currently being offered by the College Board. This document is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation, grant CNS-­‐0938336. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



Unit 1: Graphics

Computer Science Students will engage problems requiring graphical response to user input. This unit will introduce fundamental computer science concepts like iteration, objects, classes, events, and code efficiency. It will emphasize computing as a creative endeavor. Students will use MIT’s Scratch programming language and its extension Snap!, and be introduced to Python.

Lesson 1.1 Algorithms
Lesson 1.2 Data
Lesson 1.3 Objects, Methods, Abstractions
Unit 2: The Web

Web Design and Information Technology Students will engage problems involving eCommerce and other Web-based interactions. This unit will introduce code writing, networking concepts, privacy, and security. It will emphasize the effects of computing on users and society. Students will use tools like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create interactive Web pages, with a brief introduction to server-side scripting.

Lesson 2.1 The Internet and The Web
Lesson 2.2 Shopping and Social on the Web
Lesson 2.3 Security and Cryptography
Unit 3: Data Mining

Information Science Students will engage problems involving large sets of data and social networks. This unit will introduce concepts in discrete mathematics, probability and association, and data visualization. It will emphasize how computational thinking affects every discipline, as computational thinking can put existing code to great use. Students will use databases of genetic information and health records, will utilize a face-recognition API for Python, and will use MIT’s AppInventor to develop an

Android app.

Lesson 3.1 Biology and Computation

Lesson 3.2 Visualizing Data and Discovering Knowledge
Lesson 3.3 Inventing Android Apps
Unit 4: Simulation

Software Engineering Students will engage problems involving predictions based on computer models and develop team strategies for handling large projects. This unit will further develop concepts in discrete mathematics, and introduce chaos and fractals, computability, and artificial intelligence. It will emphasize the power of computational thinking to create and answer new questions. Students will use Python in this unit.

Lesson 4.1 Classes and Agents
Lesson 4.2 Discrete and Continuous Simulations
Lesson 4.3 Simulation Design Problem



composition notebook, pencil, pen
The standard school fee is $3. The course fee is an additional $27. Students will receive their notebooks once fees have been paid. Please make checks payable to “ACTC.”

Method of Evaluating Students (80%):

Major Grades = 30%

Secondary Grades (Tests,Quizzes,etc.) = 30%

Employability = 20%

Engineering Notebooks = 20%

End of Course Exam (20%):

Students will take an end-of-course exam as well as develop a portfolio that demonstrates their skills. When the new AP Computer Science Principles exam becomes available (anticipated for 2015-2016), we anticipate that CSE will provide solid preparation for that exam. By way of clarification, AP Computer Science Principles is a distinct course framework from the existing AP CS-A exam.

Classroom Procedures:

  • Be on time and prepared for class. This includes, but is not limited to having your notebook, assignments, pen/pencil, and paper. Students should be seated in their desks when the tardy bell rings to avoid confusion.

  • Have a good attitude about learning. Be prepared to actively participate in class. Accept feedback with a positive attitude.

  • Students will follow all written and oral directions as well as safety precautions. This is for your own safety as there will be hands-on activities.

  • Complete all assignments in a timely fashion. You must work diligently to stay caught up. 25 points will be deducted per day for late assignments.

  • Be respectful of others and their property.

  • Take care of the learning environment. Keep your area neat and clean. Always clean your space before you leave for the day. Put materials away in their proper place.

  • Get the instructor’s permission before obtaining materials from any storage area.

  • Cheating will not be tolerated. Students found cheating will receive a zero for that assignment. The instructor and/or school will decide any further course of action.

Computer Lab Procedures:

  • Do not change any of the settings on the computers.

  • Do not download programs (including games) to the computer.

  • Do not access inappropriate content on the internet.

  • Take care of the learning environment. Keep your area neat and

clean. Always clean your space before you leave for the day.

Make-up Policy:

Students are responsible for makeup work when absent. Each student will have 3 school days to make up missed work. Quizzes and handouts will be placed in a makeup folder with the students name and it is the students responsibility to check this folder when absent before consulting the instructor.


By using an activities, project, & problem based learning approach in the classroom students will be better prepared to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of subject content

  • Investigate and engage in meaningful activities,

projects, and problems

  • Become independent learners

  • Make their own connections between posed questions and

prior learning

  • Use real life technologies and resources

  • Obtain ownership of their learning

  • Exhibit growth in areas often ignored: social and life skills,

self-management skills, and the ability to learn on one’s own.

All PLTW courses follow a progression within each unit: activities, projects, and problems. Students apply STEM content as they learn it, practicing with well-structured activities. They progress to open-ended projects that require students to integrate many skills with planning, documentation, and communication. Each unit is then capped by a problem in which students utilize previous knowledge and skills in addition to identifying and acquiring new knowledge and skills. Problems require teams to develop professional skills, coordinating their efforts to tame an ill-defined real-world problem. Problems offer ground-level entry and no ceiling: all bite into the problem and successfully find purchase, yet even the most talented will be challenged to work further.

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