Why UTeach CS Principles?

Why offer computer science?

Lots of reasons!

  • Computer science is more than programming! Computational thinking develops logical thinking, problem solving, and creativity—skills that are critical in ALL subjects. 
  • Demands for K–12 computer science education and workforce computing skills are greater than ever. In January 2016, the national Computer Science for All initiative was launched to address these critical needs.
  • For more information on U.S. concerns and the recent momentum around computer science education, check out our fact sheet

Why offer Computer Science Principles?

Computer Science Principles is a NEW way to engage students in computer science education. It goes beyond programming to address big ideas like creativity, abstraction, data and information, algorithms, the Internet, and the global impact of computer science. Beyond that, the Computer Science Principles framework was developed with the explicit intention of broadening participation among young women and others historically underrepresented in the field. It’s an issue of equity!

Learn more about equitably recruiting and supporting students to take UTeach CS Principles.

Why offer UTeach CS Principles?

There are a number of great Computer Science Principles courses available. As you consider which might work best for you and your students, here are the things we think make our course unique:

  • UTeach CS Principles was developed for high school teachers and students by highly experienced and successful secondary computer science teachers led by UTeach at The University of Texas at Austin.
  • The course engages students in authentic, project-based learning using an approach formalized by the Buck Institute for Education and focuses less on programming than deep conceptual understanding and computational thinking skills.
  • UTeach CS Principles can be taught in a variety of classroom and school environments, with no assumptions about students’ access to technology at home and a number of activities that can be completed without 1:1 computer access. No materials costs are assumed.
  • The course was designed using evidence-based strategies that incorporate socially relevant content with the explicit intention of motivating young women and others from groups historically underrepresented in computer science. 
  • UTeach CS Principles is endorsed by the College Board and National Science Foundation. It is designed to meet the spirit and letter of the AP® Computer Science Principles program and to prepare students to be successful on the AP® Computer Science Principles exam and Performance Tasks.
  • The turnkey curriculum and teacher materials, coupled with our intensive training and support model, enables teachers and students who are new to computer science to be successful.
  • In 2016–2017, about 300 teachers are teaching the course nationwide. Teachers help us shape and improve the curriculum and teacher materials and support each other by sharing resources and crowdsourcing solutions.

If you’re interested in the course or would like to share information with district or school administrators, counselors, students, etc., contact us at info@uteachcs.org.