The Computer Science Department at Ellis is committed to providing our students with a challenging and fun learning experience in an equitable environment. We strive to educate our students to be knowledgeable, flexible, creative problem solvers who will contribute to understanding and collaboration in a diverse society through the responsible use of technology.
The goals of the Computer Science Department are:
To develop students' understanding of technology by teaching programming, communication, and problem-solving skills.
To provide productivity tools and a technology-friendly environment for students and faculty to learn, experiment, create, and collaborate.
To assist students in the use of technology for effective learning in all subjects.
To foster the development of media literacy and computer ethics in the Ellis community.
Keyboarding is a required course for 5th grade. The ability to touch type increase efficiency as Middle School students write, edit and revise increasingly longer assignments. This course uses the web-based Typing Agent program to encourage proper development of finger placement, speed and accuracy.
This course uses the creative programming tool Scratch to help students learn computing concepts and develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills. Through creating and incorporating multimedia elements into programs, students learn to use vocabulary appropriately, utilize logic structures, and debug programs. This course dovetails with concepts learned in mathematics classes such as the use of variables and coordinates.
This course builds on prior programming skills utilizing Scratch to further develop logical thinking and problem-solving skills through project-based learning. In the second semester, students have the opportunity to explore how computers interact with their environment by using the HummingbirdRobotics Kit to create robots with lights, motors, and sensors. Students then program these robots using Scratch.
This course prepares students to compete in the FIRST LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition. Students learn to use the LEGO EV3 system to build and program robots, and students work to complete challenges for the FLL competition. Students are expected to attend after-school or weekend practices and competitions in addition to their participation in the elective.
Mobile Robotics is an introductory course to the field of robotics where students explore Lego Mindstorm EV3 kits and Lego Education software. The objective of this course is to introduce students to basic robot building, programming, and problem solving strategies in a hands-on collaborative environment. Robot challenges teach students about binary number systems, decision-making, friction, gear ratios, motor control, program loops, propulsion systems, sensors, timing sequences, and torque. Student designed robots are programmed to compete in various courses as developed by FIRST Lego League.
Required Elective Course | Can be taken in Grade 7 or 8
iOS Apps by Design is a design-based approach to creating your own apps for the iPhone. Students are guided through the design cycle and encouraged to consider the user as they storyboard, create a mock-up, code, test, and revise apps. For the programming portion of the course, Xcode and Swift are used to design and program an app to be deployed on Mac, iPhone, or iPad.