Computer Science

Why study Computer Science?

  • As the foundation for all computing, computer science is… “the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware and software designs, their [implementation], and their impact on society.” (Tucker, 2003)

  • Through a purposeful Student Centered School Design process grounded in the culture and values of Nā Hopena Aʻo, computer science offers safe, equitable and creative learning environments that prepare each student for success in our global digital society. (ELI, 2018)

Computer Science Core Principles

The K-12 Computer Science Framework illuminates the big ideas of computer science through a lens of concepts and practices.

  1. Computing Systems: The physical components (hardware) and instructions (software) that make up a computing system communicate and process information in digital form.

  2. Networks and the Internet: Networks connect computing devices to share information and resources and are an increasingly integral part of computing.

  3. Data and Analysis: The amount of digital data generated in the world is rapidly expanding, so the need to process data effectively is increasingly important.

  4. Algorithms and Programming: An algorithm is a sequence of steps designed to accomplish a specific task. Algorithms become programs, or code, to provide instructions for computing devices.

  5. Impacts of Computing: Individuals and communities influence computing through their behaviors and cultural and social interactions, and in turn, computing influences new cultural practices.

Computer Science core concepts and core practices graphic. Core Concepts: Computing Systems, Networks and the Internet, Data and Analysis, Algorithms and Programming, and Impacts of Computing.   Core Practices: Fostering and inclusive computing culture, Collaborating around computing, Recognizing and defining computational problems, Developing and using abstractions, Creating computational artifacts, Testing and refining computational artifacts, and Communicating about computing.

The Computer Science Framework also includes learning progressions that describe how students’ conceptual understanding and practice of computer science grow more sophisticated over time. Two significant themes interwoven throughout the framework include:

  • Equity: Issues of equity, inclusion, and diversity are in the framework’s concepts and practices, in recommendations for standards and curriculum, and in examples of efforts to broaden participation in computer science education.

  • Computational Thinking: Computational thinking practices such as abstraction, modeling, and decomposition intersect with computer science concepts such as algorithms, automation, and data visualization.

Where is Computer Science Headed?

  • The vision is to provide equitable and expanded access to computer science learning opportunities for all K-12 students by 2022.

  • The target is to provide students with real-world experiences to encourage lifelong learning, innovation, collaboration, and creativity to prepare students for college/career opportunities and beyond.

  • Hawaiʻi has adopted the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) K-12 Computer Science Standards. The CSTA standards in conjunction with the K-12 Computer Science Framework delineate a core set of learning objectives designed to provide the foundation for a complete computer science curriculum and its implementation.

  • Computer Science learning opportunities for students are organized into the following three (3) main focus areas:


Focus on preparing students with a broad overview or introduction to computer science for success in the digital world or computer science learning progressions.


Focus on preparing students for college through early college course credit programs such as Advanced Placement, Running Start, and Jump Start.


Focus on preparing students for post-secondary career opportunities through industry career-focused programs such as CTE.

Computer Science resources

Educational Leadership Institute (2018). Priorities for 2018-19. School Design. Retrieved from
Tucker, A. (2003). A Model Curriculum for K-12 Computer Science: Final Report of the ACM K--12 Task Force Curriculum Committee. New York, NY.