New Instructional Material Review: NICERC Computer Science

NICERC Computer Science (AP)

Learning List has reviewed the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center’s (NICERC) Computer Science course. This is a comprehensive product that supports instruction in Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles courses. Content is available online and is comprised of printable PDF materials. Online content is not interactive. Instruction is project based and emphasizes the development of problem-solving and critical thinking skills in the context of computer science.[Read more…]

NICERC Computer Science begins with three lessons that introduce students to the foundations of computer science and some ideas embedded in the course (e.g., the importance of failure to future success). Core content is organized in multi-day lessons that address specific components, or “pillars,” of computer science. Pillars include algorithms, computer programming, data structures, and computer architecture. Lessons address a set of related topics (e.g., the binary number system, binary arithmetic).

Most lessons include one or more hands-on Activities that require students to work with classmates to complete computing tasks, such designing computer games. Additional Resources include a variety of additional activities, including puzzles, videos, and opportunities to create digital artifacts. Other resources include “Beam” supplemental lessons that teachers may incorporate in the course if they choose. Beams are meant to be capstone lessons that address the application of computer science to a variety of contemporary topics, including robotics, cyber security, and gaming.


NICERC provides hands-on professional development, curricula, programs, and competitions to engage students in STEM disciplines. Project-driven curricula creates a context for the content at every level of learning. Professional development programs for K-12 teachers enable them to motivate creativity and innovation in students through problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication. These initiatives offered through NICERC provide a collaborative and comprehensive solution that fosters systemic change in education.

*Information in this section is provided by or adapted from NICERC.

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