North Shore Hebrew Academy High School Where Dreams Become Accomplishments

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Computer Science with Mrs. Wilensky

STEAM TechnologyComputer Science Department Goals:


The overall goal of the computer science and technology department is to develop student’s computer literacy and technology proficiency with cutting edge devices, software, tools and social media in order to prepare them for the high-tech workforce they will see be entering. The impact that computers, mobile devices and other technological advances play in all areas of life is steadily increasing. Computers are used in just about every field and successful careers will depend on employees ability to work within technological frameworks. With the proliferation of mobile devices, computational tools provide and “always on, always connected” mentality that we must teach students to comprehend, manage and most importantly balance in their lives.


In preparing students for our ever-evolving technological workforce, students at NSHAHS are encouraged and often required to use technology in their school classes to research, write papers and projects, compute mathematical formulas and perform scientific research, and to create presentations and other computational artifacts. We strive to help students have successful, creative and enjoyable experiences with the technology that is prevalent in their world and prepare them to face the technological challenges they will encounter in the future. We also endeavor to build good digital citizens who are respectful of others, take technology usage seriously and leverage technology for the greater good and benefit to society.


To summarize, the goals are:


  • To develop of love of technology and reduce anxiety around computer science.
  • To guide students towards deeper understanding and global impact of computer science.
  • To prepare students for future careers in computer science or the critical knowledge of technology in any field.
  • To build 21st century skills including collaboration, technical writing, communication skills, presentation skills and digital etiquette.


The computer science department has evolved over the years from offering basic introduction to technology courses and extracurricular based learning opportunity to a robust department with multiple classes, clubs and opportunities to learn about computer science and technology, as described below.


Course Descriptions:


  • Introduction to Computer Science provides a foundation of mathematics and computational skills to help students develop original algorithms using the object-oriented programming language Java. On the first day of class, students are assigned the “Shalom la’olam” project assignment, which introduces them to basic programs, classes, and data structures. Next, students will design and implement a virtual Mad Lib while covering concepts such as variable declaration, method design and recursion. In honor of Chanukah, the dreidel animation challenge requires students to learn graphical user interfaces, loops and control structures. By the end of the school year, each student will have a greater understanding of how to build and debug programs that are confluent and robust. Instructor: Mr. Weinberg


  • Introduction to Python is a self-directed weekly course that utilizes and the Girls Who Code framework to teaches student the basics of Python programming. Advisor: Mrs. Wilensky


  • AP Computer Science Principles is equivalent to a first-semester, college-level course in computer science. The course introduces students to computer science focused around 7 big ideas: creativity, abstraction, data & information, algorithms, programming, the Internet and global impact. The course will use MIT App Inventor and the Blockly programming language to teach students about programming concepts in the context of mobile application development. The AP Computer Science Principles course includes 2 performance based tasks: Explore - a written exploration of relevant computer topics and Create - a creatively designed programming app. Collaboration will also be a key component in the class. AP CSP is designed to be a prerequisite for AP CS A. Instructor: Mrs. Wilensky
  • Mobile Apps & Entrepreneurship is a brand new course being offered for 2018-2019. The course is designed to build on computer science concepts learned in AP CSP with a focus on the entrepreneurial aspects of bringing a mobile application to market. The course covers an introduction to entrepreneurship including markets, the mobile application landscape, business plans, and legal considerations of digital resources. Students will also design, develop, deploy and bring to market a mobile application of their own creation. Finally, students will explore relevant concepts in marketing including branding, the 4 P's of marketing, interdisciplinary considerations, social media marketing, customer service and the implications of being a "minor" application developer. Prerequisite: AP CSP. Instructor: Mrs. Wilensky
  • AP Computer Science A is equivalent to a first-semester, college-level 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 Java language. The AP Computer Science A course includes a minimum of 20 hours of hands-on structured lab experiences to engage students in individual or group problem solving. Prerequisite: AP CSP. Instructor: Mrs. Wilensky

Guiding Principles:


The Guiding Principles are the foundations by which the computer science goals and curriculum paths are set.


  • Multiple Entry Points - students may get interested in computer science and begin their path to discovery through clubs, classes and competitions.
  • Multiple Paths for Technology and Business Minded - students may choose to pursue courses of study that delve into object-oriented programming languages and constructs, or they may choose to pursue the study of technology and its impact in society.
  • Real World Applications - Students learn skills, use tools and build apps and applications that solve real world problems.
The CS Department Curriculum Map:Curriculum Map