AP Computer Science Principals

Big Ideas

  • Creativity
  • Abstraction
  • Data and Information
  • Algorithms
  • Programming
  • The Internet
  • Global Impact

Computational Thinking Practices

  • Connecting computing
  • Creating computational artifacts
  • Abstracting
  • Analyzing problems and artifacts
  • Communicating
  • Collaborating


Computer Science: The New Literacy

Whether it’s 3-D animation, engineering, music, app development, medicine, visual design, robotics, or political analysis, computer science is the engine that powers the technology, productivity, and innovation that drive the world. Computer science experience has become an imperative for today’s students and the workforce of tomorrow.

The AP Program designed AP Computer Science Principles with the goal of creating leaders in computer science fields and attracting and engaging those who are traditionally underrepresented with essential computing tools and multidisciplinary opportunities.


Rigorously Developed

In development since 2008, AP Computer Science Principles was created with significant support from the National Science Foundation. The College Board worked with more than 50 leading high school and higher education computer science educators who piloted the course at their institutions. This rigorous process of development and testing has yielded a course that not only reflects the latest scholarship in the field, but provides students with a relevant and engaging learning experience.

Over 90 colleges and universities have stated their support for the course, with the majority anticipating they will award college credit for high exam scores.



AP Computer Science Principals


Code.org- AP Computer Science Principals Syllabus

Mr. Burrill's Course Syllabus

---Class Links---

Code Studio - App Lab - Blown to Bits - Nimbus Screencast

Explore Performance Task


Computing innovations impact our lives in ways that require considerable study and reflection for us to fully understand them. In this performance task, you will explore a computing innovation of your choice. A computing innovation is an innovation that includes a computer or program code as an integral part of its functionality. Your close examination of this computing innovation will deepen your understanding of computer science principles. Please note that once this performance task has been assigned as an assessment (rather than as practice), you are expected to complete the task with minimal assistance from anyone. For more clarification see the Guidelines for Completing the Through-Course Performance Tasks section.You will be provided with a minimum of 8 hours of class time to develop, complete, and submit the following:


A computational artifact


Written responses
Scoring guidelines and instructions for submitting your performance tasks are available on the AP Computer Science Principles Course Home Page. When completing the Explore – Impacts of Computing Innovations performance task, you will be expected to conduct investigations on a computing innovation. A computing innovation is an innovation that includes a computer or program code as an integral part of its functionality. You must ensure you have identified relevant, credible, and easily accessible sources to support your creation of a computational artifact as well as to support your responses to the prompts. You can search for print or nonprint sources as part of your investigation. You can refer to a journal, Web page, or an expert that is being quoted as part of your written response. Avoid plagiarism by acknowledging, attributing, and/or citing sources throughout your responses

Students need to submit their final performance tasks on the AP Digital Portfolio by April 30.


College Board Documents


Explore A: Artifact
Explore A: Written response

Explore B: Artifact
Explore B: Written response

Explore C: Artifact
Explore C: Written response

Explore D: Artifact
Explore D: Written response

Explore E: Artifact
Explore E: Written response

Scoring Rubric

Explore PT Survival Guide

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