Updates for Unit 5

Hello CS Discoveries Community!

As you may have noticed, a revised version of Unit 5 has been published. We’ve worked hard to incorporate feedback from our 16-17 pilot, and have paid particular attention to the following:

Limiting use of third party tools
Although many teachers have incorporated lessons about spreadsheets and other tools into their computer science lessons, some have found that using third party tools distracts from what they are trying to accomplish in the class. We have altered the lessons so that spreadsheets are optional for our data lessons. We still provide access to data in spreadsheet form, but also allow students to use a Code Studio widget and unplugged activities to manipulate the given data.

Addressing newly published CSTA standards
We have added a completely new lesson on encryption to address the recently published CSTA standards. You can see CSTA standards mapping at the bottom of each lesson plan. (You can read the new standards here.)

Revising the unit project to focus more on creation
Previously, the final project focused on researching how data is used to solve problems in the real world. We have revised the second half of the chapter to lead toward a creative activity in which students design and code a data-driven recommendation app similar to those they may have seen on sites such as BuzzFeed. (See an example here.)

We’re excited to share the new version of this unit, and look forward to hearing how these lessons play out in your classrooms. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about these updates.

CS Discoveries Team

Thanks for letting us know! I was wondering where the spreadsheet activities went. :slight_smile:


Hi Michelle!

The spreadsheets should still be there as an alternate way to run the lesson. I just added a teaching tip and links to the spreadsheet in the lesson plan to make it more clear. As we move forward, we’ll be looking more at how we support these options.


Sounds like some great changes. I can see the kids having a great time with the recommendation app. Also, gives them insight into how these are created and based on anything the programmer wants to base it on. However, after trying out the example, I do agree that I should go to the beach and have some ice cream while I’m there. :slight_smile: