• CS Discoveries                          

    8th Grade Syllabus

    Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School

    Ms. Elizabeth Barbour


    (276) 647-3841

    Course Description:

    Computer Science Discoveries is an 18-week exploratory course that empowers students to create authentic artifacts and engage with computer science as a medium for creativity, communication, problem solving, and fun.  

     Unit 1: Computers

    This unit provides an overview of how computers work. Learn about transistors, logic gates, logic circuits, the CPU, memory, and the file system.


    Unit 2: Online Data Security


    Students learn the concept of PII (personally identifiable information) and the ways in which PII and other data can be tracked online (cookies, search history, browsing history, geolocation). Learn how attackers can gain access to data and devices with phishing, rogue access points, and malware, and see how you can protect yourself with encryption, secure protocols, strong passwords, and multifactor authentication.

     Unit 3: Pixar in Box

    Pixar in a Box is a behind-the-scenes look at how Pixar artists do their jobs. subjects you learn in school — math, science, computer science, and humanities — are used every day to create amazing movies at Pixar.

    Course Objectives:

    Problem Solving

    • Use a structured problem solving process to help address new problems
    • View challenges as solvable problems
    • Break down larger problems into smaller components 


    • Expect and value mistakes as a natural part of problem solving
    • Continue working towards a solution in spite of setbacks
    • Iterate and continue to improve partial solutions


    • Incorporate personal interests and ideas into activities and projects
    • Experiment with new ideas and consider multiple approaches
    • Extend or build upon the ideas and projects of others

     Supplies Needed:

    • Pencil/Pen
    • Folder/Notebook paper
    • Earbuds/headphones (optional)

     Grading Policy:

    Students will be graded on their level of participation, communication, and completion of assignments. Weekly assignments will be due each Friday. A grade of zero will be assigned to students who haven’t completed assignments or communicated with the teacher.  All assignments and related content will be accessed through CANVAS.

                      A           B          C           D           F
                 100-90   89-80   79-70    69-60    59-0

    Student Expectations:

    • Check-in using Zoom weekly and turn in all completed assignments
    • Students are encouraged to check-in at least once per week and anytime they need assistance
    • Request help if needed/schedule individual help sessions
    • Be respectful in all forms of communication, ex. Email/Zoom

    Zoom/Class Schedule:


    Date & Time


    7th Grade/1st Exploratory   (1st period)

    8:30-9:00  Monday/Wednesday

    7th Grade/2nd Exploratory  (2nd period)

    9:05-9:35  Tuesday/Thursday


    6th Grade/1st Exploratory   (3rd period)

    11:50-12:20 Monday/Wednesday

    6th Grade/2nd Exploratory  (4th period)

    12:25-12:55 Tuesday/Thursday


    8th Grade/1st Exploratory   (5th period)

    1:20-1:50 Monday/Wednesday

    8th Grade/2nd Exploratory  (6th period)

    1:55-2:25 Tuesday/Thursday


    All Grades/Individual Help Sessions

    By appointment only/Friday

    • Students not available to meet during their designated time should email me to set up an appointment.
    • Individual help sessions will be available during the week and on Friday’s by appointment only. Please email me to set up a time.

    Links for all Zoom meetings will be posted in CANVAS.