BJC: The Beauty and Joy of Computing

Org: The Beauty and Joy of Computing

BJC’s guiding philosophy is to meet students where they are, but not to leave them there. BJC covers the big ideas and computational thinking practices in the AP CSP curriculum framework using an easy-to-learn blocks-based programming language called Snap!, and powerful computer science ideas like recursion, higher-order functions, and computability. Through the course, students learn to create beautiful images, and realize that code itself can be beautiful. Having fun is an explicit course goal. BJC takes a “lab-centric” approach, and much of the learning occurs through guided programming labs that ask students to explore and play. All course materials are free, including the Snap! programming environment, and available via a web browser.

The Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) curriculum was developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It was chosen twice as one of the five initial pilot programs for the AP CS Principles course being developed by the College Board and the National Science Foundation. Since 2011, UC Berkeley, the Education Development Center (EDC) and NC State have collaborated to bring BJC professional development to over 700 teachers nationwide via regional partnerships and a train-the-trainer model. Through partnerships with EDC, the New York City Department of Education, and CSNYC, the NSF-funded BJC4NYC project has brought BJC to 100 high school teachers in New York City, the largest and one of the most diverse school districts in the country.

If your department is looking to partner with local schools, districts or departments of education to broaden participation, BJC can serve as a third-party partner that provides tested, high-quality curriculum and training – along with a decade of experience in the K12 field – allowing your department to focus on recruiting and supporting teachers and building local relationships instead of re-inventing CS curriculum.

Departmental, Partnering

Intended Level(s)
High School, Undergraduate

Intended Population
American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic, LGBTQ, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Women

Program Costs

Program Matching Funds Available?

Program Interest Form