Online for the 2024-2025 School Year
Teacher: Rebekah Lang
Applications are checked weekly in the spring and summer. You will receive a follow-up message with the status of your application before you pay for the course.
"I have taken other computer science courses before, but they didn't really work great for me. However, this class was different. [It] taught me so much about computer science, and I feel like a gained a lot of knowledge. The lessons were fun and interactive, and the projects were great too."
— Ethan M. (Honors CSD student, 2020-2021 school year)
Computer Science Discoveries is an honors level introductory computer science course designed for students in grades 6 and up. This class uses resources adapted for a unique online course format from Code.org's Computer Science Discoveries curriculum. Click here for a quick overview.
In this course, students will:
- Build problem solving skills and learn to become a computational thinker
- Understand how computers use algorithms, logic, and math to run programs
- Create a website using HTML and CSS inside Code.org’s Web Lab environment
- Discuss the issues of data security, privacy, and social responsibility online
- Work with "unplugged" activities at home and complete online work with widgets, discussion boards, and more
- Gather, analyze, and report on data while considering how computers work with big data
- Discover the relationship between hardware and software with AdaFruit Circuit Playground
Students will interact with the teacher, their classmates, and the teacher's assistants (TAs) primarily through Google Classroom, Discord, and email. Ms. Rebekah will post weekly introductory videos to preview upcoming assignments and to teach key concepts. On Google Classroom, students will participate in discussions, submit projects, post resources, upload homework, and complete assessments. There will also be some partner coding and group projects that can be completed asynchronously or in real time, depending on each student's availability during the year.
To give prospective students a better idea of what they will accomplish in this course, here is a compilation of projects by former students:
Who Should Apply
Anyone interested in creative problem solving, logical thinking, and learning! This course introduces middle and high school students to computer science with plenty of hands-on, "unplugged" lessons that can be completed independently, with distanced classmates, or with family and friends. Honors Computer Science Discoveries is a good unofficial AP® preparation course for students not quite ready for the challenges of an AP® computer science course.
There are none! As the name suggests, this course is an introduction to computer science. Its goal is to make computer science accessible and interesting for all! Students taking this course should plan to spend up to 5 hours a week on coursework.
High school students with a background in coding or computer science or who want a more challenging AP level course might want to consider AP® Computer Science Principles or AP® Computer Science A instead.
- This course uses Code.org's CS Discoveries curriculum and other online sources
- The following materials are required:
- School supplies (pens, pencils, Post-it® notes, scissors, paper)
- A Code.org AdaFruit Circuit Playground Board kit (Optionally needed for Spring 2025. Available online for $29.95 + shipping; if the student is signing up with a sibling or nearby friend, they may share a board! Students will receive reminders in the spring when it is time to order the board.)
- Computer with audio, high-speed internet access, and the ability to support the AdaFruit Playground Board (compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux and Chromebook)
- A Gmail account
- A way to get print documents and pictures onto a computer (a scanner or cellphone camera is fine)
The goal of this course is to help all students learn the coursework well enough to earn an A! Students are therefore graded based on what they know and what they can do rather than on their timeliness or compliance (following Grading for Equity Principles). There will be occasional multiple choice and short answer tests. Test corrections and late work are accepted, and all possible accommodations will be made to help every student succeed.
Work will be posted each Monday and is due the following Monday. The schedule for weekly TA-led office hours will be published in August. Enrolled students and TAs will be surveyed to determine the best meeting times. This course will run approximately from September 9, 2024—May 12, 2024, except for the following breaks:
- Thanksgiving break (November 23 - December 2)
- Winter break (December 21 - January 6)
- Spring break (April 12 - 22)
If students need additional time off or flexibility with deadlines, they should email Ms. Rebekah to plan ahead.
- Regular Tuition: $700
- Audit: $350
This will be Ms. Rebekah's sixth year teaching Honors Computer Science Discoveries for PA Homeschoolers. Following her master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Western Governors University, Ms. Rebekah has earned multiple educator certificates from various tech companies and from Penn State University Lehigh Valley for teaching English Language Learners (ELLs). She holds state teaching certifications in computer science as well as a broad variety of other subjects. She has participated in Cooperative Learning Research for Computer Science Principles, served as a CS for All Teachers Ambassador, and is currently a CS Awesome PD Facilitator. She recently won an Educator Affiliate Award for NCWIT's Aspirations in Computing Program for her work with girls in computer science.
In addition to teaching Honors Computer Science Discoveries, Ms. Rebekah is the instructor for AP® Computer Science A and AP® Computer Science Principles for PA Homeschoolers. She also teaches AP® Computer Science A, AP® Computer Science Principles, Computer Science Discoveries, and Web Design in person for a local private school. Ms. Rebekah is a lifelong educator and learner who has taught middle and high school students—public, charter, private, and homeschooled—for the past 14 years. Having been homeschooled herself, Ms. Rebekah understands how diverse, independent, intelligent, and engaged homeschooled students are. She is excited to work with these unique students and aid them in their studies of computer science!