AP Computer Science A

Course Description:
AP® Computer Science A is equivalent to the first segment of a college level computer science course. As man created in the image of God as creative, categorical builders and designers, students develop the skills to write programs or part of programs to correctly solve specific problems. Throughout the course, students are reminded that God is the ultimate programmer who lovingly created His children and redeems us from sin into salvation. Made in His image, students are capable of designing programs in understandable, adaptable, and appropriately reusable ways. Throughout the course, connections between faith and computer science are explored. At the same time, the development of useful computer programs and classes is used as a context for introducing other important concepts in computer science, including the development and analysis of algorithms, the development and use of fundamental data structures, and the study of standard algorithms and typical applications. In addition, an understanding of the basic hardware and software components of computer systems and the responsible use of these systems are integral parts of the course.  

This course is designed to provide a college-level experience and prepare students for the AP® 
exam. Students must take the AP® Exam in order to receive AP® credit. 

Recommended Prerequisites:
Algebra 1 and 2 recommended

Grade Level:
11- 12

Approved by:

College Board, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA®), University of California (UC) 

For more UC information, including honors weighting, please view our UC Approved Courses A-G List and visit the UC webpage for Sevenstar

Course Types Available:

  • 1 Credit – Full course (1 credit, 12 weeks minimum / 12 months maximum)
  • ½ Credit – 1st semester only (0.5 credits, 6 weeks minimum / 6 months maximum)
  • ½ Credit – 2nd semester only (0.5 credits, 6 weeks minimum / 6 months maximum)

Biblical Integration Information:
Creation: God’s true nature is partially revealed through the orderly, discoverable, and purposeful scientific laws He established to govern His creation. Existing outside of His creation, God sustains creation and can intervene in the predictable patterns He established in unpredictable, miraculous ways (Genesis 1:1; Job 37:5; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:17; Revelation 4:11). God teaches us sacrifice and humility through the descent and ascension of his Son. Creation is offered to man as his dominion. He is to explore the vast boundaries of the universe, seek to understand the complex yet predictable nature of the world, apply its non-negotiable laws, use its abundant resources for God’s glory and the good of mankind, and protect it as wise stewards (Genesis 1:26; Psalm 139:7–12; Matthew 6:26). The order and design of creation allows us to develop and master technology. We are created to use all of creation, including technology, for God’s glory.

Fall: Man’s sin and rebellion ostracized man from a perfect relationship with God, causing our nature, character, and reasoning to be flawed. Our ability to understand all God has revealed through creation is diminished (Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Peter 3:5). Sin corrupted our code. Technology can be used for good or evil. Man often mistakenly believes that through science he can become independent of His Creator or explain reality outside of His existence. He also attempts to apply science in ways that do not honor God or promote His purposes or causes for mankind (Job 12:7–9; Romans 1:25; 3:12). We cannot operate independently of God or the community of believers He gives us. Sinful men extort a lack of privacy, but God who knows our hearts forgives our sins. We can create awesome stuff, but only God can create the eternal things that matter most.

Redemption: The progressive exploration and application of science should be used to encourage and promote life, health, and community. Man should employ wise stewardship of natural resources while promoting the design and purpose of man for God’s glory (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 139:14; Philippians 2:3–4; 1 Peter 4:10–11). Our ability to make decisions and think rationally is a gift from God. Technology can be used for good or evil, life or death. We should seek to use it for good. Basing our moral decisions on the teaching of God’s Word allows us to clearly navigate the choppy waters of technology and ethics. We should use our ability to think, organize, create, and sort to restore fallen creation. All truth is God’s truth; as we passionately crave it, we will be led into a deeper understanding of our Creator and appreciation for His provision and wisdom. We use this knowledge as a tool to live in obedience to the Creation mandate (Genesis 1:28), the Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36–40), and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20). Our decisions should be made for the glory of God. Expressing our creativity through programming gives us perspective in understanding God. Man can seek to glorify God by using scientific reasoning and critical thinking combined with scientific processes and knowledge to understand God’s world, man’s role in it, and how to properly relate with His Creator and fellow man (Psalm 119:15; Proverbs 14:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:20–21; 2 Peter 3:18). We have been designed to create and subdue; computer science is one tool we have to fulfill that purpose. Humanity is actively seeking its purpose. The Bible says we need to be doers of the word, not just hearers of the word. Programming separates objects from action, and so does the Bible.

Authority of Scripture over Scientific Inquiry: Man’s attempt to understand God’s revelation of Himself through the natural world is limited due his fallen nature. Therefore, when science seems contradictory to Scripture, it is best understood as faulty understanding on man’s part. Scripture is the unchanging authority under which all scientific knowledge will eventually submit, as man’s faulty understanding and interpretation is refined (Romans 1:21; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:16).

To see how these truths are specifically explored in this course, visit the course information page in the course and click on “Guiding Principles.”

Required Materials:

Books 
Computer Science: Java Programming (eIMACS) 
Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam (eIMACS) 
AP Computer Science Labs: Magpie, Picture and Elevens and the AP Computer Science 
Student Manual (available on College Board’s public site) 
* The price of this course includes access to the required etexts listed above. The etexts 
will be provided to the student within one week of the student’s start date in the course. 
See course for details. 
Software 
Java (free download) 
BlueJ (free download) 
Equipment 
Because of the required software listed above, this course cannot be completed on a 
mobile device or a Chromebook. Students must have a PC or Mac on which to install the 
required custom course material. 
* Common household items, and access to research materials as well as word processing and 
presentation software, may be required for the completion of lab activities and/or other 
assignments. See course for details.