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Exploring Computer Science

A high-school curriculum exploring what computer science is and what it can do

The Exploring Computer Science (ECS) materials provide daily lesson plans and resources which support the teaching of six instructional units:

  1. Human Computer Interaction
  2. Problem Solving
  3. Web Design
  4. Introduction to Programming (with Scratch)
  5. Robotics; and
  6. Computing Applications.

The curriculum adopts an inquiry-based learning model and each unit concludes with an in-depth project. The instructional materials have been developed for high school classrooms in Los Angeles Unified School District as an instruction tool for introducing students to the "computational thinking" of computer science.

In Unit 4 - Introduction to Programming, students will be introduced to some basic issues associated with program design and development. Students design algorithms and programming solutions to a variety of computational problems using Scratch. Programming problems include control structures, functions, parameters, objects and classes, structured programming and event-driven programming techniques.

This curriculum was created under the auspices of the Broadening the Participation in Computing National Science Foundation grant, "Into the Loop: An University K-12 Alliance to Increase and Enhance the Computer Science Learning Opportunities for African-American, Latino/a, and Female Students in the Second Largest School District in the Country".  Principal Investigator: Jane Margolis (UCLA); Co-Principal Investigators Joanna Goode (University of Oregon), Todd Ullah (LAUSD), Deborah Estrin (UCLA). 


Thanks.  I will use them in my CS classes which start in two weeks.  These are just what I am looking for.


I've been using the Exploring Computer Science curriculum as a first year computer science course at our high school for 2 years and the kids love the Scratch unit. I've had a diverse group of students (from advanced learners to special needs) in these classes and all of them have success using Scratch. It's a great gateway language to get students interested in CS. I now have students in my programming class that had no interest in programming before being exposed to Scratch.


Oh, that's great to hear! Thanks for sharing your ECS/Scratch experience...


 Wow! very great teaching document!. I want to translate Korean! In Korea, popularity of Scratch is very high!



There is a slight link problem in your list above, I think. If I'm not mistaken, the links in your "Other FIles" are to 2.0 versions of the ECS curriculum. Your links under "Links" are to the newest 3.0 version, I believe.

I'm about to start a course using Scratch, and these look like excellent resources.




Thanks for noticing! I've updated the files.



Thanks for letting me know! I've updated the link...



This is a great lesson document. Thanks. How can I download the .sb files for the Scratch Programming unit? 



Thanks to John Landa and David Bernier, who have given us access to all of the Scratch projects. (Now attached as a zip file, above.)