Technology

Susan Amsler-Akacem, Department Head

The Technology department offers courses that provide students the opportunity to develop their computational thinking skills through a wide range of computer science, robotics and engineering applications. Whether learning how to program in HTML, Python, and Javascript or designing and troubleshooting the construction of a robot, students are required to work iteratively and to reason through challenging problems that do not have a single solution. At every turn, Technology department faculty strive to contextualize course content in real world situations and to explore the many ways in which technology is transforming our world today on a global scale.

The Technology department is excited to offer a number of new courses for the 2017-18 school year. The expanded course offerings are designed for all students, both those who are excited to learn about the field and expand upon their knowledge base and those who have a proven passion for computer science and engineering.

Design Theory: Computational Thinking

Semester-long Course—Open to Grades 9–12 (Required for incoming 9th graders)

A problem-solving technique course that will carry out through the student's high school career in whatever subject, field, or courses they choose. This course is designed to teach students the steps of computational thinking. Computational thinking is using special thinking patterns and processes to pose and solve problems/prepare programs for computation. Notably, decomposition, pattern matching, abstraction, and automation. This project-based learning course will include activities that will help the student learn the four aspects of computational thinking.

Prerequisite: none

Computer Science Fundamentals

Yearlong Course—Open to Grades 9–12

This course is a lively introduction to javascript programing where students will learn to program drawings, animations, and games. Course concepts that will be taught include, but not limited to: problem solving techniques, program design, control structures, functions, loops, data structures, and algorithms. The Code.org platform will be used as the programing develop platform and it will combine the principles, techniques, and utilities of computer science with the complexity of writing, compiling, and linking code. Students will become familiar with basic programing structures like loops, variables, functions, and objects while looking at data from topics of interest. This course will also cover computer science topics such as the internet, big data, and data visualization.

Prerequisite: none

Software Development

Fall Semester—Open to Grades 10–12

This course to to teach the front end of software and the back end of how it is developed. Students will study file structure, data integrity, and the design for future expansion and development of software. The integration of networks, what they are, and how they work will also be a focus in this class. It is a project course that will combine the applied technology of software with the back end functions.

Prerequisite: Computer Science Fundamentals

Emergent Technology

Spring Semester—Open to Grades 9–12

This course is designed to study a technological system or topic, and/or a recent technological innovation. This course will include how this advancement affects society and/or the environment. There will be a culminating project integrating one or more of the seven contexts of technological literacy. It should include research, design, construction, analysis, writing, and presenting. Topics will include but not limited to encryption, cryptography, cybersecurity, hacking, and big data analysis.

Prerequisite: none

Advanced Computer Science Research Seminar

Yearlong Course—Open to Grades 11 and 12

This advanced course is designed to allow students to study in-depth a technology topic or issue of their choice. The experience will enable the student to gain a more comprehensive knowledge of a particular technological context. This course is taught with a variety of instructional strategies such as using multiple resources, specialized labs, and collaboration with mentoring experts. Students must have pre-approval with a specific Technology Department teacher in order to enroll in this course.

Prerequisite: Computer Science Fundamentals

First Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics Team

Fall Semester (If the team qualifies and moves on past the semester, possible club's period time will be used to prepare for final tournament)Open to Grades 9–12

A course that explores the principles of engineering by constructing a robot for the Rhode Island FIRST Tech Challenge. Using the Lego MINDSTORM kit, the Tetrix™ kit, and FIRST Tech Challenge guidelines. Working in our dedicated Robotics classroom, students work together in a team-oriented class to design, build, test, and debug a tournament-ready robot. There are time commitments outside the designated classroom time in order to go to the qualifying competition and possibly the championship competition.

Prerequisite: None

Engineering and Design

Yearlong Course—Open to Grades 9–12

Engineering scope, content, and professional practices are presented through practical applications in this hands-on course. Students in engineering teams apply technology, the engineering design process, and iterative thinking skills to solve engineering design problems and create innovative designs. Students research, develop, test, and analyze engineering designs using criteria such as design effectiveness, public safety, human factors and ethics.

Prerequisite: none


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