Blog Post



By Jenna Krambeck-Reeh and Kyleigh Lewis

Nebraska Computer Science Curriculum in a Box:
Empowering Students for the Digital Age

In today’s digital world, computer science education plays a vital role in preparing students for future success. Nebraska recognizes the importance of computer science and technology knowledge and skills, as highlighted in Nebraska Revised Statute 79-3303. To meet the growing demand for computer science education, the Nebraska Department of Education has developed the Computer Science Curriculum in a Box, a comprehensive program that encompasses various aspects of computer science, from computer literacy to programming and networking. 

The Computer Science Curriculum in a Box covers a wide range of topics related to computer science and technology. It aligns with the principles defined by and incorporates various domains, including computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, information technology, and computer science itself. By blending these domains, the curriculum ensures that students gain a holistic understanding of computing systems, algorithmic processes, programming, networks, data, and their impact on society.

CS In-A-Box Set Up:

The curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of the Fundamentals of Computing course and the Computer Science Principles course in Nebraska. It serves as the foundational course in the Computer Science Pathway under the Communication and Information Systems Program of Study. Additionally, modules and lessons have been added to enhance learning and provide challenges for students.

The one semester curriculum comprises five major modules, each addressing specific aspects of computer science. The modules are:

  1. Digital Citizenship: This module focuses on teaching students the importance of responsible and ethical use of technology. It covers topics such as digital footprints, information literacy, and maintaining online privacy.
  2. Data: This module introduces students to the fundamentals of data, including data manipulation, data collection and use, and the concept of polymorphism. It equips students with essential skills to analyze and interpret data effectively.
  3. Problems and Solutions: In this module, students learn problem-solving strategies and techniques. They explore the building blocks of algorithms, understand binary representation, and gain an understanding of abstraction as a key concept in computer science.
  4. Programming and Debugging: This module delves into the world of programming, teaching students the basics of programming languages, variables, conditionals, functions, and introduces them to application design and debugging.
  5. Optional- Networks: This module provides insights into the history of the internet, the physical and digital components of a network, and the principles of cryptography and encryption.

Teacher Set Up Guide and Additional Resources:

To support educators in implementing the curriculum effectively, a comprehensive Teacher Set Up Guide is provided. This guide assists in class setup, resource allocation, and student account creation, where applicable. Moreover, an array of additional resources, including links to websites, curriculum materials, organizations, events, and YouTube playlists, is available to supplement the CS learning journey.

The Nebraska Computer Science Curriculum in a Box is a robust educational program that equips students with the essential knowledge and skills required for the digital age. By addressing computer literacy, educational technology, digital citizenship, information technology, and computer science, the curriculum offers a well-rounded approach to computing education. With its comprehensive modules, extensive resources, and support for educators, the curriculum empowers students to become proficient in computer science and prepares them for future success in a technology-driven world.

Want to hear more about the CS Course in a Box? Tune into our NETAGo Podcast at the end of this month to hear from a few of the team members on the benefits of this semester course. In addition, NETA has released a new Google Group: NETA Computer Science Teachers.

Thanks to the following contributors to the CS Course in a Box:

Jessie Andre, Norris Public Schools #160, Norris Middle School
Lisa Bohaty, East Butler Schools
Kimberly Ingraham-Beck, Gretna Public Schools, Gretna High School
Kyleigh Lewis, Conestoga High School/Harlan Community School District
Jenna Krambeck-Reeh, Papillon-LaVista Community Schools
Lindsay Wilson, Papillon-LaVista Community Schools, Liberty Middle School
Ramsey Young, Millard Public Schools