PLTW Computer Science

Program Overview:

The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Computer Science program of study engages high school students in computational thinking and prepares a computationally aware and capable workforce.  PLTW Computer Science empowers students to become creators, instead of merely consumers, of the technology all around them.  The program’s interdisciplinary courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges. As students work together to design solutions, they learn computational thinking – not just how to code – and become better thinkers and communicators. This program is comprised of four courses. 

  • Computer Science Essentials
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Computer Science A
  • Cybersecurity


Students who take the Computer Science Principles and Computer Science A courses can also sit for the Advanced Placement Computer Science exams for one or both of the courses.

Students are Expected to:

  1. Apply computational thinking to solve problems;
  2. Use Python to create apps and produce simulations;
  3. Design and implement user interfaces and Web-based databases;
  4. Create and share solutions and computing resources to protect and secure privacy; and
  5. Work in teams to complete challenging, self-directed projects.


Advanced Placement Computer Science A

In this course, students collaborate to create original solutions to problems of their own choosing by designing and implementing user interfaces and Web-based databases, as well as creating a game for their friends or an app to serve a real need in the their community. This course is endorsed by the College Board, giving students the opportunity to take the AP Computer Science A exam for college credit.               

Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles

In this course, using Python® as a primary tool, students explore and become inspired by career paths that utilize computing, discover tools that foster creativity and collaboration, and use what they’ve learned to tackle challenges like app development and simulation. This course is endorsed by the College Board, giving students the opportunity to take the AP Computer Science Principles exam for college credit.

PLTW Computer Science Essentials

This course introduces students to coding fundamentals through an approachable, block-based programming language where they will have early success in creating usable apps. As students sharpen their computational thinking skills, they will transition to programming environments that reinforce coding fundamentals by displaying block programming and text based programming side-by-side. Finally, students will learn the power of text-based programming as they are introduced to the Python® programming language.  

PLTW Cybersecurity

This course introduces the tools and concepts of cybersecurity and encourages students to create solutions that allow people to share computing resources while protecting privacy. Nationally, computational resources are vulnerable and frequently attacked; in Cybersecurity, students solve problems by understanding and closing these vulnerabilities. This course raises students’ knowledge of and commitment to ethical computing behavior. It also aims to develop students’ skills as consumers, friends, citizens, and employees who can effectively contribute to communities with a dependable cyber-infrastructure that moves and processes information safely. 


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