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Texas Fundamentals of Computer Science

This year-long course is intended as a first course for those students just beginning their study of computer science. Students will learn about the computing tools that are used every day, while developing their ability to creatively solve real-world problems. This course introduces the basics of programming with Karel the Dog, the foundations of designing a web page with HTML/CSS, and how information is represented digitally and sent over the internet. With a unique focus on creativity, reasoning, and applied learning, Texas Fundamentals of Computer Science gives students the opportunity to explore several important topics of computing that will foster further endeavors in the field.


Units: 10
Timeframe: Year
Contact Hours: 140

By the Numbers

Contact Hours 140
Lessons 98
Videos 85
Exercises 78
Challenges 41
Offline Handouts 124


Unit Description
Welcome!: Students will think about why everyone should learn how to program.
Introduction to Programming: Karel is a dog that only knows how to move, turn left, and place tennis balls in his world. Students will give Karel these commands in order to instruct him to do certain things. They learn what it means to program and focus on their on problem solving development.
Project: Pair-Programming with Karel Paint!: Students will apply their knowledge of programming with Karel to design a beautiful piece of art!
What is Computing?: Students will explore the question, What is Computing? Students will review a history of computing, learn about the various parts that make up modern computers, learn about the impact computing has had on today's world, and learn about the impacts computing could potentially have in the future.
Digital Information: Students will learn about the various ways we represent information digitally. Topics covered include number systems, encoding data, programmatically creating pixel images, comparing data encodings, compressing and encrypting data.
Basic JavaScript: Students will learn the basics of JavaScript, including variables, user input, mathematics, and randomization.
The Internet: Students will explore the structure and design of the internet, and how this design affects the reliability of network communication, the security of data, and personal privacy.
Web Design: Students will go through a high level introduction to HTML, CSS, and the processes involved in viewing web pages on the internet. Students will create several simple web pages using the CodeHS online editor to gain practice using the various features of HTML and CSS.
Project: Designing for Impact: Students will explore the theory and practice of user interface design. Students will learn about what makes an engaging and accessible user interface, and will employ an iterative design process including rapid prototyping and user testing to design and develop their own final project.
Digital Citizenship and Cyber Hygiene: Students investigate the topics on internet etiquette and how to stay safe on the world wide web. They will also look at the potential effects of our digital footprints, how to protect information from online risks, and the implications of cyberbullying. Finally, students will learn how to find and cite quality resources online.


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Rock, Paper, Scissors

Multiplication Quizzer

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Here are a few examples of teacher resources and materials to use in the Texas Fundamentals of Computer Science course

Format of Course

The entirely web-based curriculum is made up of a series of learning modules that cover the fundamentals of computer science. Each module is made up of short video tutorials, example programs, quizzes, programming exercises, challenge problems, and unit tests. The course is designed for a year long class that meets 5 days per week, though schools implement it in a variety of ways.

Who is it for?

Texas Fundamentals of Computer Science course is designed for complete beginners with no previous background in computer science. The course is highly visual, dynamic, and interactive. The required prerequisite for this Texas course is proficiency in the knowledge and skills relating to Technology Applications, Grades 6-8, and the course is recommended for students in Grades 9-12.


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Texas Fundamentals of Computer Science is aligned with the following standards

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