Workshop #410: The Beauty and Joy of Computing Curriculum and Teacher Professional Development
3:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Sat Mar 14, 2020


This workshop is intended for current AP CS Principles teachers using the Beauty and Joy of Computing Curriculum. The intended goals are to learn about and reflect on the updates of the AP CSP course, as well as discussion about updates and changes to the BJC Professional Development for 2020. The highlights include review of the new BJC curriculum and the Teacher Guide that has been endorsed by the College Board for 2020. Participants will learn about how the BJC 2020 curriculum correlates with the new Big Ideas, Computational Thinking Practices and Skills, and Enduring Understandings. This is intended for those who are currently teaching AP CSP using the BJC curriculum.

Equipment Recommended. It is recommended, but not required, that participants bring equipment.


The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) is a CS Principles (CSP) course developed at UC Berkeley, intended for high school juniors through university non-majors. It was twice chosen as a CSP pilot, and both the College Board and have endorsed it. Since 2011, we have offered professional development to over 600 high school teachers. Through partnerships with EDC (Education Development Center), the New York City Department of Education, and CSNYC, our NSF-funded BJC4NYC project will be bringing BJC to 100 high school teachers in New York City, the largest and one of the most diverse school districts in the country. Our guiding philosophy is to meet students where they are, but not to leave them there. It covers the big ideas and computational thinking practices required in the AP CSP curriculum framework using an easy-to-learn blocks-based programming language called Snap! (based on Scratch), and powerful computer science ideas like recursion, higher-order functions and computability. Through the course, students learn to create beautiful images, and realize that code itself can be beautiful. Having fun is an explicit course goal. We take a "lab-centric" approach, and much of the learning occurs through guided programming labs that ask students to explore and play. In this workshop, we will provide an overview of BJC, share our experiences as instructors of the course at the university and high school level, provide a glimpse into a typical week of the course, and share details of potential crowd-funded summer professional development opportunities.

Michael Ball Lecturer, UC Berkeley
Lauren Mock UC Berkeley
Dan Garcia Teaching Professor, UC Berkeley
Tiffany Barnes Professor, North Carolina State University
Marnie Hill BJC Program Manager, North Carolina State University
Alexandra Milliken IIM-REU Student, North Carolina State University
Joshua Paley Teacher, Computer Science & Mathematics, Henry M. Gunn HS
Efrain Lopez HS Teacher, Beauty and Joy of Computing
Jason Bohrer Chapter Relations Manager, Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA)