Pennsylvania Homeschoolers

AP* Online Classes


These projects... helped cement the concepts we were learning and show how they are applied in real life. I cannot think of one assignment that was not valuable in some way.

AP Computer Science

On-Line for the 2020-2021 School Year

Teacher: Cynthia Lang and Rebekah Lang

Email: pahscompsci@gmail.com

AP Computer Science A

(Students without the necessary math prerequisite should consider AP Computer Science Principles instead. AP Computer Science A is more advanced than Principles.)

Texts Required:

Technical Requirements:

Who Should Apply: There are many reasons to consider a course in computer science. Computers are currently used in virtually every field, even in non-STEM areas. Did you know that more students take the introductory computer science course at Princeton than any other course? For high school students considering careers in information technology, a field in high demand with correspondingly high salaries, this course offers an opportunity to explore that interest. Computer science is also an enjoyable subject for students who like math, creative problem-solving, and/or logic.  A side benefit to studying computer science is that it has been shown to boost SAT Math scores. Finally, as with other AP courses, demanding, rigorous coursework in high school has been shown to correlate with college success.

Prerequisites: The necessary prerequisites for entering the AP Computer Science A course include completion of Algebra II with B or better and experience in problem solving. A student in the AP Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts found in the uses of functional notation. Previous computer programming experience is not required. Prospective students should be ready to commit 10 hours working alone on the computer each week.

Application. Please click on link to complete. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1UqiAOQLkD8vJZYj7NQ5_P5HDdy8oLGBCF7LSrKRkEpE/viewform?usp=send_form

Course Fee: Early Bird Fee $695 (good before July 1, 2020). Regular Tuition Fee $750 (July 1, 2020). Applicants utilizing a staggered payment plan are not eligible for the Early Bird discount.

Course Dates: September 7 through approximately May 6 (ends on the date of the 2021 AP CSA Exam). Students have off Thanksgiving week and the week between Christmas and New Year. You should plan to attend the weekly live meetings either Wednesdays at 9am or Wednesdays at 1pm Eastern.

Course Description: This course prepares students for the AP Computer Science A Exam. Object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development is emphasized. Students will read, answer questions, take quizzes, and most importantly, design, code, document and test Java programs.  This is a hands-on, project-based course. There will also be opportunities for students to exercise their creativity by designing their own custom Java classes. In addition to the learning resources listed above under "Texts Required", we incorporate beginning computers science projects developed at Princeton, University of Washington, and Bucknell.

Throughout the year, AP-style questions are practiced. However, starting in March, the emphasis in the class really shifts toward preparation for the AP Exam, which is administered in May.

As a member of this class, you will be part of an online community. You will be interacting with your classmates and the teacher through the website, email, and “live” class sessions. The "live" class sessions are optional, but strongly encouraged, and recorded for off-line viewing as well.  If you wish to attend the "live" sessions, you can attend either on Wednesdays at 9am or Wednesdays at 1pm Eastern. Through the online forum, you will post any questions you may have about the software, reading material or the homework assignments, answer each others' questions, discuss computer science topics, and upload homework. We will also have some team activities during the year. Students typically enjoy this peer interaction, and full participation will help you to stay engaged in the course.

Instructor Qualifications:

Cynthia Lang

I have an MSChE from University of Maryland and am a licensed Professional Engineer. My software development certifications are Oracle Java OCA SE 8 and Microsoft Technology Associate. I have both industry and teaching experience in computer science. Beginning as a Computer Specialist for the US Government at Social Security Administration Headquarters, I next programmed engineering applications as a Senior Engineer for Mobil Research and Development.

I recently retired from the College of Information Technology of Western Governors University. Prior to that I taught in the Engineering Dept. for Penn State, where I also coached teams of students in robotic competitions. 

With respect to professional development, I have completed the National Science Foundation’s TeachJava training in residence at Rice University. Additional computer science pedagogical training includes Alice3 Beta (a Java-based animation program from Carnegie Mellon), Google Computer Science for High School: Real Projects for Real People, Greenfoot (a graphical programming environment for teaching Java), Bioinformatics for Computer Science Teachers, Test First Java Program Design completed in residence at Brown University, CS in Parallel at Haverford College, Advanced Topics in Computer Science at Princeton University, BBC Microbit Programming at TCNJ, High Level C for Java Programmers at Rutgers University, and Edugaming at Lehigh Carbon Community College. I am also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery, Computer Science Teachers of America, and the Philadelphia Area Computer Science Educators. This will be my twelfth year teaching AP Computer Science A for PA Homeschoolers.

I have three formally homeschooled children and a daughter-in-law who was also homeschooled (see below).

 

Rebekah Lang

While I have taught AP Computer Science Principles with JavaScript for the past 3 years, this will be my first year co-teaching CSA and I cannot wait! I am fairly new to Java, and I think that'll help me to empathize and offer support for other students approaching coding for the first time. I am a lifelong teacher and learner who has taught in public, charter, private and online for PA Homeschoolers, for middle and high school students, for the past 12 years. Additionally, I was homeschooled, so I understand how diverse, independent, intelligent and engaged homeschooled students are. I'm excited to be able to offer this course to work alongside students studying computer science! 

In addition to earning my BA from Grove City College, I also have a MS in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University, a certificate from Penn State University Lehigh Valley for teaching English Language Learners, various state teaching certifications for NJ and PA, and educator certifications from various tech companies. Recently, I have attended CSpd week once, the annual CSTA conference twice, and a Code.org weeklong AP CSP Summer Learning Institute. I have also participated in Cooperative Learning Research for Computer Science Principles.

 

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