We use a variety of resources to teach computer science and programming. We also build and release – online, for free – video lectures, slides, code, tutorials, etc. Our materials come from teachers, professional practitioners, and students of computer science and programming.
Curricula by Cacti Council
Available on our YouTube channel
Amphibian, block-Java-block plugin
PencilCode Python variant, forked from the original PencilCode
Mistletoe, a MOSS GUI (Python)
Console Games (C#)
Buddy Bots, Doom 3 bot coding (C++, Python)
Adventures of Ana and Sebastian (C#, Unity)
Wiki Pics Trivia (Java, Android) (Google Play)
Android app examples (Java)
Data structure exercises (HashMap, LinkedList, TreeTraversal, etc.) (C++)
Existing Curricula We Use
Google CS First
CS First helps kids learn the basics of coding and computer science through creative endeavors (especially games and media.) Google has done a very nice job of wrapping MIT’s Scratch platform with tutorial videos, curriculum outlines, school club organization and metrics, etc. (grades 4-8)
Code.org may have done more for the promotion of computer science at the K-12 level than any other single effort in history.
Hour of Code
Since 2013, Code.org has run an awareness event called “Hour of Code” that promotes computer science through short interactive tutorials themed in many different ways. This campaign has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, including very high profile companies and organizations to everyday students and teachers. Many of their activities are very easy to get up and running in a short period of time, and provide a great intro to computer science and programming. (grades 2-12)
AP Computer Science Principles
College Board offers AP curriculum for at least two courses on computer science. Code.org has partnered with them to provide a version of Computer Science Principles. We are always happy and willing to mentor kids on these topics. (grades 5-12)
Code.org Unplugged Activities
The name says it all. We have used several of these activities as an introduction to CS topics, and the kids love them! They also work great when computer access is not possible for the day. (grades K-6)
Pencil Code, originally created by a Googler and used in many Google-sponsored programs, helps students transition from block-based to text-based programming. The project has been extended by Cacti Council members and university students to support more programming languages and curricula. (grades 5-12)
A clean, easy to understand program for controlling a cute virtual robot. We’ve found elementary schools kids as young as grade 3 really enjoy controlling lightbot. (grades 2-8)
Always Looking for More
Interested in seeing a particular topic or want to help us create new materials? Please contact us!
We are always looking for more materials, ideas and volunteers!