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Beginning Computer Science

Academic Year Computer Science
Schedule in 2024-25

All times Eastern.

7:15 – 9:00pm
Aug. 28 – June 4
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Dive into the exhilarating world of programming with our first computer science academy course tailored for 6th through 8th graders eager to explore computer science! This immersive experience is designed to spark creativity and analytical thinking while learning to code, inviting students to weave their interests in various fields such as mathematics, art, science, and music. Although no previous programming experience is necessary, students are recommended to have taken a 5th grade math class or equivalent.

Through a cycle of exploration, discovery, and application, students will learn the foundational skills of computer science. Classes will include hands-on coding projects, unique challenges, and collaborative exercises. Students will harness their problem-solving skills and insights in innovative ways to craft solutions for these challenges, while allowing the opportunity to further extend projects with their own creativity.

Here is a sample of some exciting projects students will work on:

  • Hot air balloons which students can control and maneuver,
  • Drawing boards where students and their partners create, share, and collaborate,
  • Cryptographic system to encode and decode secret messages,
  • Machine learning agents that learn through evolution.

Our curriculum covers essential programming foundations including control structures, recursive thinking, linear data structures, and object-oriented programming in Java. Students will utilize a graphical theater, where actors can be manipulated with interactive controls and student implemented physics. It’s a hands-on coding journey!

To ensure a seamless experience, students are expected to bring the following to class daily:

  • a fully charged Windows or Mac laptop,
  • a charging cable as a backup
  • headphones


Students should expect to spend about 60-120 minutes on homework every week. Homework will include: practicing coding skills learned in class through programming challenges and long-term projects. Students will receive immediate feedback on the programming challenges, with the ability to analyze and correct any submissions which produced incorrect results.

Our family regularly talks about AoPS. We try to think about how our life would be different without you all. What if my daughter hadn't learned to love math? What if she never experienced being pushed to her limits? Overcoming failure? She wouldn't be who she is. And she is AWESOME! A very proud mom here. We are so fortunate that we found AoPS Academy. I credit AoPS for much of her confidence.

Kelly B.,

AoPS Academy parent to 16-year-old engineering major at UW and future cancer researcher