The 2013-2014 school year is the last year for the GridWorld case study for computer science. It is being replaced with three different labs with graduated levels of difficulty, but all easier than GridWorld. The new labs are definitely a step in the right direction.
Why "Three AP Labs" is an improvement over GridWorld
- They are easier than Grid World, thus allowing them to be introduced earlier in the school year.
- They are more interesting than Grid World.
- They are practical, thus enabling the students to see the relevance of computer science to the world around them.
- Day-by-day pacing gets the 20 hour minimum required done effeciently without encroaching too much on other instruction.
- Nicely organized and bookmarked teacher manual (pdf form). All solutions are shown.
- Separate pdf student manual. Print as many student manuals as needed.
Why use the Blue Pelican version?
The original three labs were written by three different individuals with three different styles and organizations. We have unified these three labs into presentations that are both consistent and concise. If you expect to navigate through the original labs as they come from the College Board, expect a lengthy process in deciding what to leave out and what to keep for your students. It was an arduous process in making these decisions and producing new presentations of the three labs; however, we think you will find them to be very much like the lessons in the Blue Pelican Java textbook; direct, simple, and to-the-point.
The labs at a glance
The labs range from the fairly simple Magpie ChatBot Lab, to the more complex Elevens Lab, a card game.
Right in the middle is Picture Lab, a fascinating lab that lets student manipulate digital images.
Magpie Lab: This is a chatBot lab that can be presented early in the course after students have become famaliar with if else and String methods. Students will find existing chatBots on the internet and experiment with them. Then they will modify provided code to make improvments to their own chatBot.
Present this lab after the students have learned about double subscripted arrays. This is likely to be a favorite of the students... very interesting. Simulate what goes on inside Photo Shop. Repair pictures as in the above picture, convert to B & W, adjust brightness, flip, etc.
Elevens Lab: The gamers in your class will like this one. This is the most advanced of the three labs: it's a game using a standard deck of 52 cards. Make sure the students have covered inheritance, random numbers, and ArrayList. Some optional topics are presented... annotations, assertions, etc.
Demo Teacher Manual Demo Student Manual Original MS Word Files