Pathways for Alabama Computer Science (PACS) will assist in expanding student computer literacy for students in grades 9-12 by establishing a statewide high school pathway of courses. To achieve this goal, teachers will be trained in two rigorous CS courses: Exploring Computer Science and AP CS Principles. High School math teachers will receive training forBootstrap Algebra. PACS also provides training for school counselors through Counselors for Computing (C4C) to assist in their understanding the importance of computer science. These trainings will take place during Alabama CSPdWeek each summer at the University of Alabama.
Bootstrap:Algebra applies mathematical concepts and rigorous programming principles to creating a simple video game, and is aligned to National and State Standards for Mathematics, as well as the CSTA standards and K12CS frameworks. The module can be taught as a separate, standalone tech or CS class, or can be integrated into a mainstream math class, delivered by a math teacher with no prior CS experience.
In Bootstrap:Algebra, students create a simple, 3-character game involving a player, a target and a danger. They design what each character looks like, and use mathematical concepts such as coordinate planes, order of operations, ratio and proportion, Domain and Range, function composition, word problems and the distance formula to detect collisions, handle keystrokes, and determine how they move and interact. In addition to learning programming, students who take Bootstrap:Algebra have shown improvement on standard, pencil-and-paper algebra tasks.