Career Classes in the Technology Academy: Grade 10: Exploring Computer Science is a yearlong course consisting of 6 units. Assignments and instruction are contextualized to be socially relevant and meaningful for diverse students. Units utilize a variety of tools/platforms, and culminate with final projects around the following topics:
Human Computer Interaction - Students are introduced to the major components of the computer, including: input, output, memory, storage, processing, software, and the operating system. Students consider how Internet elements (e.g. email, chat, WWW) are organized, engage in effective searching, and focus on productive use of email. PROJECTS: Computer Buying Presentations. Cross-curricular Ethics and Technology Unit.
Problem Solving - This unit covers the basic steps in algorithmic problem-solving, including the problem statement and exploration, examination of sample instances, design, program coding, testing, and verification. PROJECTS: New software/web site presentations
Programming Students are 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. PROJECTS: Game Design and IB Unit on Genetic Disorder
Robotics - Students apply previously learned topics to the study of robotics and work in small groups to build and program a robot to perform a required task. Students make use of a programming language to control the behavior of these robots in dynamic environments. PROJECTS: Robotic Dance Off, Obstacle Course
Career Preparation - Interwoven throughout the year the students build their job networking skills through resume building, business cards, informational interviews, mock interviews, career panel and job shadows. These students also meet with senior mentors four times a year and business mentors three times a year.
Ethical and social issues in computing, and careers in computing, are woven throughout the six units.
Grade 11: Digital Imaging 1A and 1B
This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of video games design - the creative design process from concept through documentation and production - art, programming, and marketing. In this course students will learn to design a successful game that includes: systems thinking; creative problem solving; art and aesthetics; writing and storytelling; user experience design; communication, collaboration and cultural literacy.
This course walks students through the creative and iterative process needed to design an effective game. Students will design a game from inception to execution including pitching ideas, writing design documents, creating original game art, programming, presenting marketing plans and budgets all of which reinforce the engineering development cycle.
This course was developed to reflect the game design introductory course offered at USC’s Game Design program from the school of Cinematic Arts. To model industry game development, students will collaborate in groups, adhere to timelines and participate in the process of testing, reviewing, and revising the games they develop.
Course Goals and Student Outcomes
Students develop Technical skills and foundational game design knowledge including graphic design and animation, programming, testing / debugging, product management and other skills that are needed for game development but are also transferable to all types of industries.
Students experience the engineering cycle used to design games and solve various types of problems.
Students apply their research skills and are able to report on the career options available to them, as well as the training and education needed for those careers. They develop their own personal career building tools (resumes, games, portfolios). They understand the nature of the ever-changing digital gaming industry, and have the ability to think ahead to keep their skills current with new advances. Students demonstrate their reading and research skills in the development of their game design proposals and connections they make to genre and the history of games.
Students apply physics & math theories to their games and connect the large role it plays in making games playable
Students apply skills in Mathematics, Physics, English Language Arts, Social Science, and Entrepreneurship and apply the theories, principles, facts and structures learned to their own game production projects.
Students learn the twenty-first century skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and technical expertise, which will increase employment capacity across the job market.
Students prepare for both entry-level employment and additional postsecondary training needed for advancement in the highly competitive game design industry.
Students develop communication skills through pitching, marketing, presentations, crowdsourcing
In presentations to the class and to clients, students show their ability to speak with clarity, confidence and personal involvement.
Students form cohesive production groups, understanding the purpose of each team position. They demonstrate good interpersonal and team building skills; and personal skills of discipline and time management while they develop, program and market an original game.
Grade 12: Digital Advertisement Students learn advanced Photoshop skills and create collages to help prepare for college and senior portfolio personal statements. Students learn video production and create 1 Minute Me videos to add to their digital portfolio.
Students from teams to create and program an original app or game that addresses an issue or solves a problem in the community. Students document the process and work with mentors. As the culminating project student teams use production management skills to design ad campaigns through research and collaboration. They then create a professional presentation about their plan; design posters, commercials, press releases, events, websites and use social media to promote their campaign.
Academic classes include: 10th Grade: World History, English, Biology 11th Grade: US History, American Literature/Composition, and Chemistry, 12th Grade: Expository Composition and Government