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Computer Science I: Joy and Beauty of Computing High School Credit

Course Length:

One semester

Course Description:

The goal of this course is to teach you to think like a computer scientist. This way of thinking combines some of the best features of mathematics, engineering, and natural science. Like mathematicians, computer scientists use formal languages to denote ideas (specifically computations). Like engineers, they design things, assembling components into systems and evaluating tradeoffs among alternatives. Like scientists, they observe the behavior of complex systems, form hypotheses, and test predictions. The single most important skill for a computer scientist is problem-solving. Problem-solving means the ability to formulate problems, think creatively about solutions, and express a solution clearly and accurately. As it turns out, the process of learning to program is an excellent opportunity to practice problem-solving skills.


Intended for incoming high school junior or senior students

Comprehensive Syllabus:

Required Materials:


Specific Technical/Software Requirements in Addition to General Requirements:

Please review the general original credit software requirements at

This specific course requires the following:

Online Learning Resources (No Textbook Required)

  • Learning with Python: Interactive Edition (Using Python 3.x) – site . Links to the sections that you will be required to read are provided as part of the activities for the class. The on-line textbook contains more than will be covered in the class.
  • Python 3.x Tutorial – site . This is an additional resource to use when using Python.

Mandatory Software Download

  • Python 3.x with the IDLE editor – site

This course requires students to have access to desktop development platforms.  ChromeOS/Chromebooks are not compatible with this course.

Course Availability (subject to resource and teacher availability):

Fall: semester available
Spring: semester available
Summer: not available

Lead Teacher:

Buffy Smith, Helena School District,