Programming & Computer Science

For videos and more info, visit Class Website.

HS Credits for 2 Year Program:
Year 1 – 3.0 Elective Credits
Year 2 – 2.0 Elective Credits and 1.0 Science Credit
VT Proficiency-Based Graduation Requirements (PBGRs)​:
BTC is currently in the process of 
aligning PBGRs for Grade 11-12 Programs.
Dual Enrollment/College Credit:
Java (Vermont Tech, 4 credits), Web Development (Champlain College, 3 credits) expected by 2020.
Instructor: Bram Moreinis

This project-based service-learning program provides students the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to pursue one of three related career pathways:

  • Programming, developing web and mobile apps, including a role-playing game.
  • Web Development, helping community clients build better websites.
  • Cyber Security, defending users and servers, via simulations and home tech audits.

Regardless of focus, all students will be prepared for success in online or traditional college study, while building skills needed for digital development experiences through Burlington-area community service technology groups like Code for BTV.  All students will develop professional portfolios to support college admission.

All three paths require rigorous higher education. Our program is student-centered, with many more supports than college will offer next year, helping our students quickly grow to become self-directed, tenacious learners.

 

Programming Pathway

Students in our Programming path offer quality assurance testing for local companies and contribute to an open source text adventure role-playing game project. Through dual enrollment with Vermont Tech, they study Java,  the language of choice for local companies like Dealer.com and My Web Grocer. Students may also prepare individually for the AP Computer Science A exam in Java with the support of the instructor.

Using free tools like Git and Slack students will work alone and in teams.  The Kata model of structured practice and competition, combined with project-based focus,  ensures that classroom and online learning remains fresh and applicable for students serious enough about coding to work outside school.  Each student will build Javascript-based games, while those who specialize in the Programming Pathway will contribute to a text-based multiplayer Role Playing Game (RPG) built on the Open Source Project (OSP) model of core projects and contributed modules.  This simulated RPG project will prepare students to join and contribute effectively to existing OSP communities.

Students in the Web Development pathway will work in a free web redesign clinic accessed by community based organizations and small businesses, with opportunities to impress reference contacts, obtain letters of recommendation, and build digital portfolios.  Those in the Programming pathway will meet coding professionals in Burlington communities and colleges, and build opportunities for further study in Vermont and online.

Prerequisites/Recommended Skills:

Students specializing in Programming or Cybersecurity should be proficient in problem solving and analytical thinking skills, fluent in basic Math skills and Algebra, and comfortable with online learning.

Web Development Pathway

Students will sprint through the foundations of web design and development in order to participate in a community WordPress clinic.  Drawing on existing individual skills and past experiences, students will assume roles to play in interdependent teams that staff the clinic. Following a field-tested business process, students will interview clients, analyze sites, draft scoping documents, and create redesigned websites to generate better Return On Investment (ROI) for the community organizations and businesses who seek free support from our clinic.

All students will produce sitemaps and wireframe diagrams that evolve into site menus, page layouts and user experiences designed to address the needs of site visitors and the goals and objectives of site owners.  Each student will build and manage one or more WordPress sites. Those who specialize in the Web Development Pathway will manage their own virtual web servers with the standard WordPress stack of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP.

Clients of the Free WordPress Clinic agree to participate in meetings and provide timely feedback via email, video meetings and other means, and to provide letters of recommendation when warranted by the work of individual students.  At the end of the academic year, clients are invited to assume ownership of the partially or fully redesigned sites, and to continue to work with students as interns or paid freelancers to continue site development and support.

Prerequisites/Recommended Skills:

Students specializing in this pathway should be highly literate in digital media, able to read and create tabular reports and charts, and highly motivated by service learning opportunities.

Cybersecurity Pathway

Vermont is in the process of adopting a Cybersecurity pathway this year.  Planning ahead, programming students who would like to study Cybersecurity in college will, in year 2, develop additional foundation skills in Linux management and penetration testing techniques.  Learning by doing, they will design and participate in a home computer security audit service, compete in server defense simulations, and earn the PenTest + certificate from CompTIA.

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