Computer, Business and Technology 

Curriculum Chair:    Mr. Kiley McDaniel ext. 5570

Business Studies

Childcare and Gerontology

Computer Programming and Computer Science

Computer Studies at St Stephen invites students to learn how to write code to solve a variety of problems using industry-standard programming languages.   We start by examining program requirements (e.g. IPO chart with focus on OUTPUT first) and apply programming structures (e.g. sequence, decision, loops) and data structures (e.g. arrays) to solve a software challenge.

The journey starts in Grade 10 (or Grade 9 if requested) to learn a systems approach to unpacking a problem and review the steps or algorithm to solve a programming task.  The ICS20/TEJ20 Introduction to Computer Programming and Computer Technology course gives students an opportunity to write code to drive hardware with Lego robotics and Arduino microcontrollers.  They will see first hand that “output” is not restricted to what we see on a computer screen but can also be the movement and behaviour of a robot or the response of sensors, LED or DC motor on a microcontroller.

Learning to code is a critical digital skill in a world where artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, VR, game development, electronic vehicles and online applications are creating opportunities for young people with a gift for writing code and solving problems. 

Following the Grade 10 course, students can continue to expand their programming skills at both the college and university pathways.  Grade 11 (ICS3C) and Gr 12 (ICS4C) college programming features the study of Python.  Python is a popular programming framework and is used extensively at colleges and in industry.   Students can import external libraries like pygame to design games and other applications. 

For those who are on a university pathway they can study object-oriented programming (OOP) techniques featuring Java in Grade 11 Intro to Computer Science (ICS3U) and Grade 12 Computer Science (ICS4U).  They will learn to write and manipulate software objects to solve problems with different design considerations including encapsulation, composition, inheritance and polymorphism.  We transform our Lego robots into Java-coded robots and see how sensors and motors can be driven by software written in Java.   After this hands-on unit students can see how autonomous cars like the Tesla operate. 

Computer programming students can be invited to compete in the Ontario Tech University’s Robotics Competition ( in November where our teams get to test their code and robot designs against over 50 schools across the province.  We have been competing every year since 2012 and the students have a great time. 

In recent years, we have added physical computing or the programming of microcontrollers like the Arduino to the program to design custom DIY projects involving PC electronic components.   Students can test their circuit designs or “sketches” in TinkerCAD prior to working directly with wires, breadboards and electronic components.  This gives our young programmers a chance to see what goes on “under the hood” of contemporary electronics (e.g. PlayStation, smartphones) and may get some excited by the possibilities offered in computer and electrical engineering. 

The feedback from graduates studying computers, IT and engineering at the college and university has been very positive and our focus on OOP has prepared students well for coding challenges after high school.

Programming students who study 3 senior (Gr.11/12) ICT credits are eligible to earn a FIT (Focus on Information Technology) certificate upon graduation and is a nice addition to a resume.   Please see Mr McDaniel or Guidance for more  information.

We encourage girls to consider the art of programming and writing software because industry is very interested in promoting the female voice in software design and especially in the game development industry.

It is a great time to learn to code and we all know the impact programmers have on society when we log into Facebook, do online banking or drive an electronic vehicle in the future.   Both Grade 11 programming courses are open and do not have prerequisites for Grade 10 and senior students.  If you are in Grade 8 or 9 then simply register for the  ICS20/TEJ20 program in Career Cruising and start the journey today.

Communications Technology

Communications Technology courses offer students an opportunity to explore broadcasting and media production pathways.  At St Stephen we focus on image editing, 2D animation, audio and TV/video production.  Students can start their journey in communications in Gr 9 and continue to explore producing content every year of high school.   Take a moment to study the PRE-REQUISITE FLOW CHART 2019-2020 

In Gr 9 and 10 Communications Technology students can explore media productions workflows. Teachers will engage “student voice” and co-construct success criteria for project design in response to a communications challenge (ex. Create or poster to promote safety in the workplace, create a video to promote a local business, create a film trailer).  In Gr. 11 and 12, students can specialize in video, TV and movie production by taking an emphasis course (TGV3M or TGV4M) or can study the regular programs (TGJ3M or TGJ4M) to further their knowledge and skill in video, photography, animation and audio production.   We expect all graduates of our program to be proficient in file and project management. 

We use Google Classroom for our LMS (learning management system) and we encourage students to store their exemplary work to Google Drive through the years to prepare a media reel for college and university applications.  In addition, we teach using exemplars to help students improve achievement by reviewing learning goals and success criteria.

Students use Adobe software (ex. Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects) to create and edit audio, video, animation and still images to produce engaging content that responds to real-world communication projects; posters, promotional videos, creative films, podcasts, animation shorts, motion graphics, digital photographs.   Our senior students use studio lighting, video cameras and green screen to live stream our Roar TV broadcast directly to our YouTube channel and our local “Live @ 905” school audience.   We continue to improve content and production techniques (ex. 3 point lighting, white balance, external mics) to build our audience for the show and look forward to partnering with local media and guest speakers (ex. Kelly Wiley : CFTO TV) to improve our workflows.

At St Stephen, we are committed to best practice and this has been heavily influenced by involvement in competitions.   We have competed in Graphic Design, Photography, 2D Animation and TV/Video Production at Skills Ontario at both Humber and Georgian College and learned much from the experience.   Students and staff embrace reach ahead opportunities at Durham College’s MAD (Media Arts Department) where students have participated in digital video and photography workshops.

-        The Apple video : Skills Ontario : Kocur / Brown

Students who commit to communication technology and a media production pathway can qualify for a FIT (Focus on Information Technology) certificate at graduation.   The certificate confirms the graduate has consistently generated exemplary content and completed high school with a concentration in media production.  See Mr. McDaniel or Guidance for more information

Computer Technology

The Computer Technology (Engineering) offers students an opportunity to explore IT skills through the study of PC hardware, software and networking.  

We call this course affectionately the “ICE” course because it was the original Ministry course code and provided the impetus for a popular extra-curricular program called the “ICE Group” that meets on Wednesdays after school.  Students learn about the many layers of modern computing and determine if they want to explore IT careers; online security, cloud computing, PC repairs, networking, electronics, e-commerce, coding and so on.

Students learn about hardware by disassembling desktop computers or laptops and use documentation to reverse engineer the process to rebuild the PC. During this process students explore upgrade and performance issues while learning to diagnose common PC problems using legacy BIOS or UEFI.   The study of software starts next where students learn to install and configure computer systems; backup software, virtual machines, dual booting (run Windows and Linux on the same PC), install operating systems, run utility software (ex. Powershell/DOS, ping, ipconfig) and install drivers.


Students will learn to use application software (ex. spreadsheets), operating system software (ex. Windows, Linux (Ubuntu)) and programming software (ex. Python).   Students learn quickly that software drives hardware and connects nicely to the next area of study which involves “interfacing” or physical computing.  Interfacing or “physical computing” involves writing code on a PC to drive Lego robots (ex. NXT), Arduino microcontrollers and IoT (Internet of Things) devices like home security systems.   It involves getting familiar with PC electronics, soldering, Ohms law and other “under the hood” IT experiences.

The last unit of study involves the study of computer networking where students learn about different types of networks (ex. peer-to-peer, client-server) and what makes the connectivity work.   They learn how hubs, switches and routers make the connections possible using wired (ex. Cat5e Ethernet) and wireless protocols.  Students learn to crimp Cat5e Ethernet cables and build test networks to enable file and printer sharing.   Our Grade 12 students (TEJ4E) will build and install a Windows server and enable services to share internet, files and access share folders.

New directions for computer technology include network security, PC electronics, physical computing (ex. DIY, IoT) and robotics.   St Stephen provides a robust introduction to IT and numerous students have gone on the explore post-secondary study in IT after discovering they enjoyed computer technology and engineering applications.  IT is a fast moving industry and people who thrive in this area are committed to life-long learning and embrace change. 

Construction Technology

Manufacturing Technology