AP® Computer Science: Principles
At a 2008 National Science Foundation-supported conference with the theme of Computational Thinking and Fluency in the 21st Century, a group of the nations leading computer scientists and educators agreed that students require increasing skills in computing across all STEM fields.Advancing U.S. students understanding of the principles and practices of computing is critical to developing a more competitive workforce for the 21st century. Yet, the number of students studying computing and computer science at both the high school and collegiate levels has been declining alarmingly—the number of students taking the AP Computer Science Exam fell 15 percent between 2001 and 2007, while the number of college freshmen intending to major in computer science plummeted more than 70 percent this decade. Conference scholars further noted that given the changing educational needs of students, computer science in the 21st century must build beyond the programming-centric orientation that was prevalent during the disciplines infancy.To that end, the investigators proposed developing a curriculum for a new Advanced Placement Program® AP® course that would fill a critical gap as an adjunct to the existing AP Computer Science A course. In 2009, the College Board, in partnership with the National Science Foundation NSF, received a grant to prototype the development of this new course, titled AP Computer Science: Principles. The new course will introduce students to programming, but will also give them an understanding of the fundamental concepts of computing, its breadth of application, and its potential for transforming the world we live in. It will be rigorous, engaging and accessible. To learn more, see http://www.csprinciples.org.