Let the 2017/2018 School Year Begin!
The first day was a bit chaotic, but all-in-all it was good. For all of my classes today, this was spent establishing classroom procedures and expectations.
Tomorrow will be a bit different with my Computer Science 2 class as I have had all of them before and we’ll be able to jump straight into programming.
At the conclusion of last school year, I had a curve-ball thrown at me concerning my plans to offer AP Computer Science 2 based upon an adopted AP syllabus when I requested the course authorization. This course would align with the AP Computer Science – A Exam. In addition, the course would count as a Language Other Than English (LOTE) credit for our students.
Well, the State of Texas had other plans on that. According to TEA, Computer Science 2 can count as an AP credit OR a LOTE credit, but NOT both.
As we already have HB-5 students in progress that need CS2 as their second LOTE credit, we have elected to drop the AP designation. However, I am still modeling the course after the AP CS2 curriculum from the adopted syllabus, which will allow the students to be prepared to take the AP Computer Science – A Exam at the conclusion of the year, if they would like.
Here is what I am planning to cover in CS2 this year:
- Weeks 1 – 2
- Computer Systems
- Numerical Representations, Limitations of Finite Representations, Number Bases & Conversions, Hardware, and Programming Languages
- Weeks 3 – 4
- Objects & Primitive Data
- Simple Data Types (int, Boolean, double, char), Variable & Constant Declarations, Assignment & Arithmetic Expressions, Console Output, Primitives vs. Objects, Create Objects with Classes, References, JAVA Library Classes (String, Integer, Double, Math, & Scanner), and Random Numbers
- Weeks 5 – 6
- Conditional Programming Statements
- Software Development Process, Control Flow, Boolean Expressions, Laws, Truth Tables, and Conditional Expressions
- Weeks 7 – 9
- Iterative Statements
- Flow of Control, While, For, Infinite, and Nested Loops, and Algorithm Analysis (Running Time and Execution Counts)
- Weeks 10 – 12
- Writing Classes
- Anatomy of Classes (Constructors & Methods, Declarations of Class, Interface, Instance, variable, Method and Parameter), Method Overloading, Method Decomposition, Object Relationships, Pre & Post Conditions, and Data Abstraction & Encapsulation
- Weeks 13 – 15
- Enhancing Classes
- References, Exceptions, Class Design, == vs equals, Object Parameter Passing, Error Handling, Interfaces & Abstract Classes, JAVA Library Classes (Comparable & List Interfaces) and Identifications of Reusable Components from Existing Code Using Classes and Class Libraries
- Weeks 16
- Fall Semester Exam Review
- Week 17
- Fall Semester Exam
- Week 18 – 21
- 1D/2D Arrays & Searching
- 1-Dimensional & 2-Dimensional Arrays (Creation, Insertions, Deletions, Transversals, & Algorithms), Searching Algorithms & Comparison (Sequential & Binary), and Choosing Appropriate Data Representation & Algorithms
- Weeks 22 – 24
- Lists, Array Lists, Selection & Insertion Sorts
- Lists & Array Lists (Creation, Insertions, Deletions, Transversals, & Algorithms), Sorting Algorithms & Comparison (Selection & Insertions, and Choosing Appropriate Data Representation & Algorithms
- Weeks 25 – 27
- Inheritance (Subclass, Overriding, Hierarchies, Using Class Members, Polymorphism, & Class Hierarchy Design), Interfaces & Abstract Classes, JAVA Library Classes (Object), Reading & Understanding Class Specifications (is-a vs. has-a), Understanding & Implementing a Given Class Hierarchy, Extending a Given Class with Inheritance, and Applying Functional Decomposition.
- Weeks 28 – 30
- Recursion / Merge & QuickSorts
- Recursive (Thinking, Programming, & Sorting), Flow of Recursive Control, Sorting Algorithms (Merge & Quick), and Comparison With Other Sort Options
- Weeks 31 – 33
- AP Practice Exam and Computer Ethics
- Responsible Use of Computer Systems (Reliability, Privacy, Intellectual Property, Legal Issues, & Social/Ethical Ramifications of Computer Use), and AP Practice Exam
- Week 34
- AP Computer Science – A Exam
- Weeks 35 – 36
- Cooperative Programming, Research, Reading Code, and Comparing Strategies & Algorithms
Today was the first Fish Camp where FIRST Tech Challenge and our Robotics Program was highlighted.
The freshman were broken into 6 different groups and rotated through different stations. We were housed with the various clubs, organizations, and programs in the cafeteria.
J. Vega (Senior) was the student who visited with the freshman as they came through.
I now have my first glance at my rosters today in Skyward.
Here is how it looks right now:
- 1st Period – Principles of Applied Engineering
- 16 TOTAL (13 Males / 3 Females)
- 5th Period – Principles of Applied Engineering
- 16 TOTAL (16 Males / 0 Females)
- 2A – Computer Science 1
- 15 TOTAL (13 Males / 2 Females)
- 4A – Computer Science 1
- 12 TOTAL (10 Males / 2 Females)
- 2B – Computer Science 2
- 8 TOTAL (8 Males / 0 Females)
- 3A – Robotics 1
- 19 TOTAL (13 Males / 6 Females)
- 3B – Robotics 1
- 20 TOTAL (17 Males / 3 Females)
- 3A – Robotics 2
- 7 TOTAL (6 Males / 1 Female)
- 3B – Robotics 2
- 5 TOTAL (4 Males / 1 Female)
Converting these to percentages, this means that 9.28% of my Principles of Applied Engineering, 14.81% of my Computer Science 1, 23.08% of my Robotics 1, and 16.67% of my Robotics 2 classes are female.
A study from Jensen and Nutt shows 74% of females have interest in engineering technology ahead of entry to junior high. At conclusion of high school that interested drops to 2%.
Considering setting my 2017/2018 professional goal to be to develop a program that encourages more females into STEM.
According to US Dept of Ed 2015 study, 10.4% of males earned an engineering STEM credit compared to 2% of females.
Proposing 3 All-Girls STEM Camps for 2018:
- Camp 1 – Completed 4th / 5th Grade
- Camp 2 – Completed 6th Grade
- Camp 3 – Completed 7th / 8th Grade
The major groups to support would be camps 1 and 2.
At the conclusion of last school year, I had a curve-ball thrown at me concerning my plans to offer AP Computer Science 1 based upon the UTeach Computer Science Principles course which I attended the APSI for in the Summer of 2016. This course would align with the AP Computer Science – Principles Exam. In addition, the course would count as a Language Other Than English (LOTE) credit for our students.
Well, the State of Texas had other plans on that. According to TEA, Computer Science 1 can count as an AP credit OR a LOTE credit, but NOT both.
As we already have HB-5 students in progress that need CS1 as a LOTE credit, we have elected to drop the AP designation. However, I am still modeling the course after the AP CS1 curriculum from UTeach CS Principles, which will allow the students to be prepared to take the AP Computer Science – Principles exam at the conclusion of the year, if they would like.
Here is what I am planning to cover in CS1 this year:
- Week 1
- Structured Programming Languages
- Weeks 2 – 4
- Linear Programming in Scratch
- Week 5
- Boolean Logic Operators in Scratch
- Week 6
- Conditional Programming in Scratch
- Weeks 7 – 9
- Non-Linear Programming in Scratch
- Weeks 10 – 12
- Iterative Structures & Loops in Scratch
- Weeks 13 – 16
- Game Design Projects (AP Explore Artifact)
- Week 17
- Week 18
- Women in Computer Science Research Project
- Week 19
- Basic Output and Variables in Python
- Week 20
- Casting Variables in Python
- Weeks 21 – 23
- Iterative Structures & Loops in Python
- Weeks 24 – 26
- Iterative Structures & Loops in Python Project
- Week 27
- Data Structures: Stacks in Python
- Week 28
- Data Structures: Arrays in Python
- Week 29
- Data Manipulation in Python
- Weeks 30 – 31
- Weeks 32 – 35
- Digital Artwork (AP Performance Artifact)
- Week 36
We are looking at using the Engineering Fundamentals – Design, Principles, and Careers from Goodheart-Willcox as the basis for Principles of Applied Engineering starting in the 2017/2018 school year.
This is the first time, in my professional career, selected and plan to utilize a textbook.
I evaluated a textbook from Pearson as well, but I liked the G-W text and the fact that it includes an interactive PDF lab notebook, which the Pearson text did not include.
Here is how I am planning to setup my scope and sequence for the year:
- Weeks 1 & 2 (8-Days)
- Chapter 1 (What is Engineering?)
- Weeks 3 & 4 (8-Days)
- Chapter 2 (Engineering as a Profession)
- Weeks 5 & 6 (8-Days)
- Chapter 3 (Engineering Design)
- Weeks 7 & 8 (8-Days)
- Chapter 4 (Defining Problems and Brainstorming)
- Weeks 9 & 10 (8-Days)
- Chapter 5 (Research Designs)
- Weeks 11 & 12 (8-Days)
- Chapter 6 (Communicating Solutions)
- Weeks 13 & 14 (8-Days)
- Chapter 7 (Modeling, Testing, and Final Outputs)
- Weeks 15 & 16 (8-Days)
- Chapter 17 (Environmental Engineering)
- Week 17 – Fall Semester Exam
- Weeks 18 & 20 (8-Days)
- Chapter 8 (Mechanical Engineering)
- Weeks 20 & 21 (8-Days)
- Chapter 9 (Materials Engineering)
- Weeks 22 & 23 (8-Days)
- Chapter 10 (Manufacturing Engineering)
- Weeks 24 & 26 (8-Days)
- Chapter 11 (Electrical Engineering)
- Week 27 (8-Days)
- Chapter 12 (Computer Engineering)
- Weeks 28 & 29 (8-Days)
- Chapter 13 (Civil Engineering)
- Weeks 30 & 31 (8-Days)
- Chapter 14 (Aerospace Engineering)
- Weeks 32 & 33 (8-Days)
- Chapter 15 (Chemical Engineering)
- Weeks 34 & 35 (8-Days)
- Chapter 16 (Bioengineering)
- Week 36 – Spring Semester Exam
In about a month, I will be leading a GT STEM Camp at Ferris Junior High School! The camp will run July 18th through 20th and will be based upon the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (drones).
I have spent the past few days drafting up the challenge problem they are to solve by the end of the camp.
The Eureka Dilemma
Above is a link to the draft of the challenge problem that I have written for them to solve. Take a look and let me know your opinion on it.
The students this will be given to are students rising into 8th grade and they will be using DroneBlocks for the programming of the drones. The drones to be used are DJI Phantom 3 Standard UAVs.