Week 29 Summary – Computer Science (long)

Dear Secondary School Computer Science Parents,

I would like to take the time in this week’s email summary to welcome the 6th Grade parents to DIS’ Computer Science program. With the departure of Mr. Patrick Ester 3 weeks ago, this has left a gap in the final few weeks of the school year for the 6th grade students. Mr. Ester’s shoes will be difficult to fill and we all wish him well in California. For the parents who are new to my weekly emails, I send these summary emails at the end of each week so that you can be informed of all of our activities we have performed in class, whether that is class lecture, lab time, tests or letting you know that assignments are due (or overdue as the case may be).

Week 29 marks the beginning of the final stretch to the end of the school year. With 7 more weeks remaining, we will be finishing each grade’s Computer Science projects and Exercises. I expect a few late nights in the coming days…

In the 6th grade, I have been asked to fill in for all the classes for the remainder of the school year and I am delighted to have a chance to see them this year instead of waiting until the Fall when I have them in the 7th grade. I do not have a formal lesson plan for them yet, but I am working on something that will allow an easy transition into next year’s curriculum. The 6th graders have finished their major project on which they were working for Mr. Ester. Grades will be entered soon for their projects and Mr. Ester has kindly offered to complete the grading while in California. This past week was more of a “meet-and-greet” class session for each 6th grade class…a very lively group of students and very eager to keep learning.

The 7th grade classes have completed our unit study on Arithmetic Operators and Primitive Data Types. We are intentionally going slower than I would normally do and this has given me a better sense that the classes understand the new material. These are concepts that are basic in all computer programming languages, but it is also the first time they are being exposed to them. We will begin our last major assignment for this year next week or perhaps the week after. It is one of the more interesting assignments for them…it will involve the students programming music notes and allowing them to play a chosen piece of sheet music. Computer Science is a multi-disciplinary subject area and, as such, Mr. Gomez, our music teacher, has offered to combine some of his lessons to support our last assignment.

The 8th and 9th grade classes have now finished most of the class lessons for the year. We are now in the final stages of our year-long Mission. “Mission 5: Launch“, is the last series and is the culmination of this year’s curriculum. The students all know the project timeline…4 weeks of coding and testing with 1 week for design review. I have set our Launch Date during Week 35 and will be Friday, June 3rd at 6:00pm. This is a mandatory participation for all students in 8th and 9th grade and parents & faculty are invited to our “Launch Party” where the students will showcase their rovers and hopefully have a successful mission while under the intense scrutiny of a live gallery. More details will follow as we get closer to Week 35.

The CS 101 Advanced class finished the chapter on Input / Output. The programming assignments for exercises 1.5 and 1.6 are diligently being completed. Perhaps a little slower than I expected; however, these programming exercises are more challenging…but a lot more fun!

A quick note on our upcoming field trip to the Welding Technology Laboratory at Mountain View College. All arrangements with the college and transportation have been confirmed. This field trip is targeted for the 8th, 9th and CS 101 students. Not all students will be attending as only those students who have interests in STEM careers, especially Engineering, and have also demonstrated commitment to their academics in my classes will be participating. You might ask why such a field trip? The students have all learned how solder simple electronic circuits…now let’s see how we can work with metal and learn about the different welding technologies that are used every day in manufacturing, metallurgy and fabrication. And yes, I still plan on building that driveable solar car with the high school students in a couple years…but we need to learn how to weld first. :-)

Douglas Lee
Secondary School Computer Science (and Engineering)
17811 Waterview Pkwy | Dallas, TX 75252
Tel: 469-250-0001

Dallas International School educates students of all backgrounds to contribute to a dynamic world with its internationally renowned curriculum, multiple language instruction, and exposure to diverse cultural views.

Follow our progress on our classroom website: http://douglaslee.com

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