AP Computer Science A (AP CSA) is an introductory college-level computer science course developed by the College Board as equivalent to a first-semester, college-level CS1 course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science with fundamental topics that include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, organization of data (data structures), approaches to processing data (algorithms), analysis of potential solutions, and the ethical and social implications of computing.
The course emphasizes both object-oriented and imperative problem solving and design using the Java programming language. These techniques represent proven approaches for developing solutions that can scale up from small, simple problems to large, complex problems. The Java Programming portion of this course teaches students skills to —
In addition to a strong foundation on programming, students learn computer science fundamentals concepts such as sorting, searching, recursion, error handling, and so on. This course adequately covers the requirements of the AP® CSA curriculum and allows students to go further in more advanced topics that are outside of AP CSA requirements if they have interest and time.
2Sigma School emphasizes project-based learning where students work on programming challenges, or mini-labs, throughout the course so that they are actively engaging with the concepts of modularity, variables, control, code logic, algorithm design, code testing, and the impact of computing on a daily basis. Completing these mini-labs prepares students to build their skills to complete full labs on their own. By the end of the course students will create multiple complete programming projects, or labs, on their own where they will design solutions to problems, express their solutions precisely, test their solutions, identify and correct errors, and compare possible solutions.
No prior programming experience is necessary, but it is highly recommended that students have successfully completed Algebra II with a strong foundation of basic linear functions, composition of functions, and problem-solving strategies that require multiple approaches and collaborative efforts. In addition, students should be able to use a Cartesian (x, y) coordinate system to represent points on a plane. The highest performing students enjoy logical thinking similar to proof building found in most Geometry courses. Computer science builds upon a foundation of mathematical reasoning that should be acquired before attempting this course.