Computer Science Design Principles

Computer Science learning is important for all students; all ages.

In Computer Science (CS) Learning, students deepen their learning by using:

  • Computational Thinking
  • Creating with Code
  • Portrait of a Graduate (POG) Attributes

Computer Science = Content + Computer Science Practices + Portrait of a Graduate attributes

graphic of computer science; text from graphic follows

Computer Science Practices

FCPS fosters an inclusive computing culture where students engage in Computer Science Practices. In PreK through grade 12, students:

  • Apply computational thinking to solve problems with or without technology
  • Create, test, and refine solutions using a computer
  • Develop POG attributes and prepare for future careers


  • Students break large problems and complex information into smaller, more manageable parts.
  • Students identify relationships and connections of parts. 
  • Students apply decomposition to create and refine artifacts.


  • Students hide less important details to support problem-solving and data visualization.
  • Students generalize from patterns in the data to create and transfer solutions.
  • Students apply abstractions to communicate important information, and create and refine artifacts.

Pattern Analysis

  • Students observe, gather, and organize data to recognize patterns. 
  • Students analyze, interpret, and display patterns to make predictions and draw conclusions. 
  • Students apply patterns in data to create and refine artifacts.

Algorithmic Thinking

  • Students develop, test, and improve sequential steps (algorithms) with and without technology. 
  • Students identify problems that can be solved using algorithms and automation, and justify why.

Creating with Code

Students apply computational thinking, coding, and engineering practices to create, test, and refine artifacts that have computers run solutions.

Content Knowledge

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Students experience computer science from an early age through core content. Middle and high schools offer computer science elective classes.


Portrait of a Graduate Attributes

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Students develop skills to be productive citizens of a global community and successful in the workforce of the future.


More STEAM and Computer Science Opportunities

This list of coding resources is not all-inclusive.