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Plugging Into Computer Science at St. Mary's

 

Digital fluency has become fundamental to understanding and participating in the modern world, and St. Mary’s Academy believes that young women should be equipped with the knowledge, experience, and skills to not only navigate, but to lead in the digital landscape.

For the first time in school history, the entire freshman class will receive introductory computer science instruction.  The course examines computer science with a broad lens, covering topics such as programming, physical computing, app design, and data.  Students engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.  The course inspires students to build their own websites, apps, games, and physical computing devices.

Introduction to Computer Science prepares students for a life of active and informed contribution in a technological society, independent of a student’s inclination to pursue a technical career.

St. Mary’s also offers a variety of Info Sci classes for students who are looking for a deeper dive into computing and design concepts.

App Design- Focuses specifically on the design and coding of applications for mobile devices, with an emphasis on the iOS (Apple) platform. Students learn to first design and then wireframe prototypes using the InVision platform. Students then create and style their apps using Swift (a programming language of iOS applications).

Web Design- Bridges the intersection of art and technology, focused specifically on the design and coding of websites. Students develop their visual design sensibilities as they build their HTML, CSS, and JavaScipt coding skills. By the end of the class, students analyze end-user needs and design cutting edge user experiences with the coding skills they gain in the course.

Principles of Design- Students learn how to think like a user-centered designer while exploring the design process through activities and projects. Students identify 21st century problems and learn to address them through improved collaboration skills, new ways of problem-solving, and building creative confidence.

Advanced Computer Science- An in-depth study of the Java programming language. Areas of study include problem solving, design strategies and methodologies, data organization, approaches to data processing (algorithms), and the ethical and social implications of computing. Students explore these concepts through projects, application-related labs, presentations, and field trips.

St. Mary’s Tech Internship- This course serves as both a hands-on internal internship in Information Technology (IT) as well as an independent study. Students work with the IT department during their assigned block responding to Tier I and II tech help requests. Interns are mentored by the St. Mary’s IT staff as they practice their skills in technology troubleshooting, systems administration, client service, and professionalism.