Unit 10: Post-AP Exam Projects (4–5 weeks)

Culture Day Lesson B: Student Research Project/Presentation

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Describe in detail the topic of their assigned/chosen computer science related topic

  • Answer questions about their topic

  • Explore and analyze the impact on, and impact of, technology in the context of their topic

Emphasize with students...

Curriculum Competencies - Applied Technologies

Coding is simply a technical skill. Yet the process of software development, product creation, and deployment, involves the intersection of diverse technical innovations, global community of peoples, cultural beliefs, values, and ethical positions. There is impact from, and impact on, our life and society at many levels (personal, community, global, and environmental), including the unintended negative consequences of the technology choices we make. These connections and discussions, help us appreciate the past, be wiser in the present, and more ready to embrace the future.

Possible Topics

  • Famous figures in computer science (Donald Knuth, Alan Turing, Kernighan & Ritchie, Mark Zuckerburg, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, etc.)

  • Famous women figures in computer science (Grace Hopper, Bletchley code breakers, Ada Lovelace, Dorothy Vaughan, Anita Borg, etc)

  • Important technologies or algorithms (RSA, Dijstra's Algorithm, RAID, integrated circuits, etc.)

  • New and emerging technologies (AI, Machine Learning, robotics, cryptocurrencies, etc.)

  • Impact of technology on society (social media, health and lifestyle, screen time, etc.)

  • Ethics (privacy, cyberbullying, security, etc.)

  • Legal issues from new technology (intellectual property, facial recognition discrimination, etc.)

This list should be expanded and updated, from time to time, to be up to date.


Pacing Guide



5 minutes

Welcome, attendance, bell work, announcements

15 minutes

Presentation #1

15 minutes

Presentation #2

15 minutes

Presentation #3

5 minutes

Debrief and wrap-up

Instructor's Notes

  1. Prior to Culture Day

    • Assign each student one or more topics to research and present to the class on a future day

      • Topics can be assigned, chosen by students from a pre-defined list, or suggested by students and approved by instructors

    • Create a schedule of when culture days will occur and which students will present on each day

    • Depending on how many students are in the class, and how many days you wish to allot for presentations, your pacing guide can be adjusted.

  2. Student presentations

    • Each student should give a 5-7 minute presentation on their assigned topic, followed by 8-10 minutes for Q&A

      • Students should have a visual aspect to their project (poster, PowerPoint, prop bag, etc.) as well as giving a verbal presentation

      • Use your judgement regarding the level of technical detail expected in the presentation. It is probably not realistic to expect students to become experts in advanced technologies such as RSA, but they should be able to explain, at least at a high level, the details of their topic.

        • Do not allow students to simply read a textbook or online definition of the topic-- ensure they can at least explain the subject in their own words.

      • Allow classmates to ask questions, but beware of students trying to stump each other.

      • Have a few questions for each assigned topic prepared ahead of time for instructors to ask in case classmates do not have questions.


  • In smaller classes, each student may be able to present twice in a single semester.

  • For classes where students are less experienced with presentations, consider a "science fair"-style event where students produce a display that can be viewed by others to present their topic.