Computational Thinking is a problem solving method that uses computer science techniques. Advances in computing have expanded human capacity to solve problems at a scale never before imagined, using strategies that have not been available to us before. Students will learn to apply real-world math and science concepts that are needed for success in the 21st Century.

Coding (or programming) teaches problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills. We believe that everyone should learn to code because it makes you much better learner through requiring you to think deeply about many different concepts. In addition, programming is an important skill to have in the 21st century due to its importance in modern business operations.

Ardent Academy offers a streamlined curriculum to develop students' computational thinking skills, including robotics for visual programming, Python for functional programming, and Java for object-oriented programming and JavaScript for real life applications. Students will have the opportunity to participate in Computing Olympiad or take the AP Computer Science exams. 

Python Coding for Grades 6-8

The Python Programming series of three classes are designed for students in grade 6-8 to explore computational thinking using an interpreted language. For middle school students, there are several advantages for learning Python as an introductory language to computational thinking.

  • To accomplish the same task, Python usually needs 20% of the code required of a similar C++ or Java program. Therefore, young students will spend less time in programming language syntax while learning computational concepts.
  • Python is an interpreted language and modern-day BASIC programming language, which was the first software package Bill Gates and Microsoft sold.
  • Just about everything can be done in Python. There are a lot of tutorials, books, and resources available both for sale and for free online.
  • A lot of research labs use Python to control instruments, convert data format, and develop research specific programs.
  • Python is FREE. It is installed on every Mac iOS and can be downloaded onto any Windows versions free of charge.

Python Coding Level 1: Introduction to Programming

Grades: 6 - 8

Length: Ten 3-hour lessons offered year-round and summer.

Description: This ten-lesson course guides students through the fundamentals of procedural programming, exploring how computers are used to make calculations, solve problems, and model the world around us. Major topics covered include variables, operators, conditional control structures, loops, simple data structures, and the ethical/social challenges of computing. The course is focused primarily on helping students achieve a thorough understanding of programming concepts rather than learning how to use a specific language, and the material is differentiated to meet student learning needs at an individual level. Weekly course meetings are structured around the creation of software projects that empower students to experiment with new concepts as they develop comprehension and proficiency with modern programming tools.

Python Coding Level 2: Hands-On Projects

Grades: 6 - 8

Length: Ten 3-hour lessons offered year-round and summer.

Description: This ten-lesson course introduces students with previous procedural programming experience to advanced data types, and develops problem-solving skills related to data manipulation, sorting, searching, and real world problems in cryptography, computational linguistics, bioinformatics, Monte Carlo simulation, computational music, games, and puzzles. On a collaborative front, students apply engineering processes to the programs that they develop in a team project environment that encourages exploration of the social and managerial dynamics required for creating more complex software systems. Students will need to have completed Python Programming Level 1 or demonstrate equivalent proficiency with basic programming concepts in order to have a successful experience in this course.

Python Coding Level 3: Independent Studies

Grades: 6 - 8

Length: Ten 3-hour lessons offered year-round and summer.

Description: This ten-lesson course gives more experienced programmers the knowledge and skills to write object-oriented programming. Students will have the opportunity to research and develop a web or desktop applications of their choice. 

Python Coding for Grades 8-12

The Python Programming series of two classes for older students of various experience levels, from beginners to savvy programmers. These classes will teach Python in the context of real world applications.

Python for Bioinformatics

Grades: 8 - 12

Length: Ten 3-hour lessons offered year-round and summer.

Description: This course is designed for students who have not yet learned how to program Python. Students will learn the basics of Python programming and will then be guided step-by-step in conducting a research project to classify species using DNA sequences. During the summer, students can then use the same method to extend the research scope for a more comprehensive research project.

Python for Artificial Intelligence

Grades: 8 - 12

Length: Ten 3-hour lessons offered year-round and summer.

Description: This course is designed for students who have completed Ardent Python Level 2 or equivalent. Students will study TensorFlow and develop 2-3 research projects step-by-step. Students will then be assisted in selecting a suitable project they can pursue independently during the summer.

Java Programming

Java is an object-oriented computer programming language that is intended to let application developers "write once, run anywhere" (WORA), meaning that code that runs on one platform does not need to be recompiled to run on another. Java is one of the most popular programming languages in use with a reported 9 million developers. It is also the language of choice for the AP Computer Science exam.

AP Computer Science A (Java)

Grades: 9 - 11

Length: This is a 30-week program starts in the fall session.

Description: This course is an introduction to programming, using the Java™ programming language. Students will learn the how to write, run, and debug programs, specific language syntax, and commonly used programming algorithms. This course will also help students who are planning on taking the AP Computer Science exam in May.