Computer, Business and Technology
Curriculum Chair: Mr. Kiley McDaniel ext. 5570
Childcare and Gerontology
Computer Programming and Computer Science
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 (https://engineering.uoit.ca/outreach/robotics_competition/index.php) 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.
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.