The Computer Science Academy of Westhill

Course Description: AP Computer Science Principles

AP CSP

courseAP CSP

Prerequisites: Algebra 1
Languages: App Inventor

Course Description

Computer Science Principles has been offered at Westhill since the 2015-2016 academic year. Unlike other AP courses, AP CSP can be taught using a variety of curricula. At our school, we have chosen the Mobile CSP (cell-phone-based) platform for teaching this important course which is designed to be a student's first introduction to computer science. For more information about the curriculum for our Mobile CSP course, click on the image on the left to view on-line course materials or click the video below to get an overview of this course. Mobile CSP shows students how to build apps for Android devices while teaching 7 basic tenets of computer science: creativity, abstraction, data, algorithms, programming, Internet and impact. AP CSP was developed by a collaboration between The National Science Foundation (NSF) and The College Board.

Teachers and Students Talk about AP CSP

Introduction to AP CSP

Students Talk CSP

How We Build Mobile Apps in CSP

If you would like to see some of the apps made by Westhill students taking this course, click here. Not sure if you will like it? Try one or more of these projects.

Charts and Brochures

girlsCS

More Girls are Taking Computer Science

brochures

English Brochure

brochures

Spanish Brochure

How the CSP Advanced Placement (AP) Exam is Unlike Other AP Exams

There are two main differences between the AP CSP exam and other AP exams. Like other APs, There is a written exam taken during the first week of May. However, this exam constitutes only 60% of the students grade. In addition, students taking the exam must submit a brief video and write-up to the College Board demonstrating proficiency in programming an application of their choice (24% of the exam grade). Third, students must submit a 2-page research paper (16% of exam grade). The other major difference is that whereas most AP Courses have a fixed curriculum, AP Computer Science Principles can be taught using a variety of curricula. At Westhill, we have chosen to teach CSP using the Mobile CSP (cell-phone-based) option with teaching materials provided by Trinity College, the College of St. Scholastica and MIT.


All AP exams are difficult. However, our students consistently report that the AP CSP exam is significantly less challenging than the AP Computer Science A exam.

AP Exam Summary

The diagram, below, shows a typical AP CSP exam. However, the 2019-2020 exam was significantly altered due to the Coronavirus. In particular, the Multiple Choice portion of the exam was cancelled. It is too early to be certain what changes will take place for the AP exam for the 2020-2021 school year.

csp summary

Course Details Taken from the College Board Website

Computer Science Principles introduces you to the essential ideas of computer science with a focus on how computing can impact the world. Along with the fundamentals of computing, you will learn to analyze data, information, or knowledge represented for computational use; create technology that has a practical impact; and gain a broader understanding of how computer science impacts people and society.

A website for CSAW, the Computer Science Academy of Westhill High School. CSAW's mission is to expose students to the rapidly growing field of Computer Science. We strive to get more girls and underrepresented students to consider STEM careers. To contact the webmaster with problems on this site or to ask questions about CSAW, send email to CSAW@StamfordCT.gov