This program is ideal for students who have an interest in computers and programming. The Academy for Technology and Computer Science offers a curriculum that provides students with a strong foundation in the core concepts of computer science, experience in a broad variety of programming skills and paradigms, and a focus on the application of programming to practical challenges.
ATCS students develop a strong foundational understanding of programming, computer architecture, software engineering practices, data structures and algorithms, theory of computation, and program analysis. Throughout their careers at BCA, students extend their skills in computing through projects and electives of their choice, including such offerings as processor design, web application development, computer security, game development, and artificial intelligence.
The specific programming languages and development tools in the curriculum change frequently with the times, but they are not the heart of what our students learn. Our real focus is on important, fundamental ideas in the field of computer science, not just the latest fad in technology. Even though the tools we use are always changing, students can have confidence that the important ideas they learn in ATCS will never become outdated or obsolete.
Ninth graders will take AP Computer Science A. The year begins with a gentle introduction to a CS-approach to problem solving. By trimester two, the pace will increase, with a focus on learning all of the AP CS A topics, including arrays, 2d arrays, iteration, methods, objects, inheritance, and a bit of recursion. **
Tenth graders continue with a course focusing on data structures and standard algorithms associated with those structures. Some of the data structures include stacks, queues, linked lists, trees, heaps, and maps. **
Eleventh graders learn about a third programming paradigm: Functional Programming. They also turn their focus towards the mathematics and theoretical underpinnings of computer science, examining in depth how we can prove assertions about code, and exploring the fundamental capabilities (and limitations!) of computers.
Twelfth graders pull together everything that they've learned by building a real-world product known as a Capstone. In the process, they research new technologies, learn industry-level methodologies for client and team collaboration, and finally present their complete product to industry professionals.
** Important note: The 9th and 10th grade courses described here represent a curricular change from prior class years. BCA is continuing to review the proposed change, which primarily involves moving AP CS A from 10th grade to 9th grade in order to increase instructional time for data structures and algorithms. If the curricular change is not adopted, 9th grade will be an Intro to Computer Science course followed by AP CS A during 10th grade.
Because of their strong backgrounds in computer science, ATCS students have placed highly in prominent national and international competitions such as The International Computer Science Olympiad, the American Computer Science League, picoCTF, CyberStart, among others.
ATCS students are well prepared for any college computing major such as Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, or Information Systems. Additionally, computers have worked their way into every facet of modern life. Even those students who decide not to pursue computer-related careers after high school still find that the technical skills they have acquired through the academy's curriculum prove immensely useful in any number of other fields.