iLaunch Curriculum Index
Navigate the Curriculum and More
About The Curriculum
And How You Can Take Full Advantage Of It
We like to call the iLaunch Curriculum "The Core" because while iLaunch does engage in many other ventures, the core of the club centers around its self-designed two year high school iOS Development Curriculum that aims to plunge you into computer science from an applied perspective, where you can see your work available on one of the world's largest software markets. Below, we will do a break down of both years of the Curriculum so that you can further understand what it is and what it entails.
Year 1: Developing and Releasing Your First iOS App
The first year of iLaunch teaches you the basics of iOS Development with Swift, which is the language the club uses (we stay away from Objective-C) and SpriteKit, which is the largest game development framework included for iOS Development. By the end of the year, as long as you stay committed on your end, we guarantee that you will have a game app released on the App Store that has been designed, coded, tested, and published by yourself.
Every year, we expect around 30 new developers to join iLaunch as Year 1 Developers. That's a lot! However, we make it our goal to give you an individualized experience. So, before you even get started, you and a few other fellow Year 1 Developers will be grouped one of our ~10 Captains. This Captain will be your mentor for the rest of the year. Ask him/her, along with the other 2-3 students in your group questions, and use your Captain to your advantage!
The first year is split into 2 main sections: The Year 1 Curriculum and Gamethon. The full lessons included in the first year can be reached from the above Menu under "Year 1".
The Year 1 Curriculum is an approximately 24 lesson curriculum that teaches you the Swift Language, and plunges you into SpriteKit. This part of the year lasts from the second week of October to Winter Break. Year 1 Developers meet twice a week for 1.5 hrs after school on Mondays and Tuesdays, where the Head Captains will teach you the material in a hands on way. We can guarantee accuracy and quality to our lessons. At the end of every single meeting, you should be able to come home with a mini-project under your belt. We don't believe in continuous lecturing, so you have the opportunity to code along with the Head Captains at each meeting. This curriculum is dense! So if you have any questions, definitely ask - and if your question wasn't answered to your satisfaction at the meeting, always follow up your Captain mentor.
From Winter Break until late April right before AP Exams, is Gamethon. This is a 5 month period where you can apply the exact things you learn in the Introductory Curriculum to actually design, code, test, and finally release your first iOS Application. We want student in Gamethon to know what they are doing. So, to join, you need to first pass a Development Programming Test before Winter Break. If you came to a reasonable amount of Year 1 Curriculum meetings, and have kept proactive, this test should be super easy!
Unlike the Intro Curriculum, where there are set days for lecture, Gamethon is a lot more freely structured. The Captain mentor you were given at the beginning of the year should share a similar schedule to you. So, your Captain will schedule you to meet at least twice a week with him/her to code your app according to your availability. In addition to your Captain, you should also look and try to teach yourself the concepts from Gamethon Resources. By May, your app should be published on the App Store.
After Gamethon, you will have the opportunity to sign up for Outreach, our entrepreneurial second year program. Additionally, you can apply for Captain/Head Captain positions, and also General Management positions (Assistant President, Treasurer, Filmographer, Chief Designer, PR Manager).
With that, the first year is over. If you applied for a staff position, and was selected, congratulations! If you also signed up for Outreach (most students do), your next step is with our Outreach Startup Incubator as an Outreach Developer.
Year 2: Outreach Startup Incubator
The second year of the iLaunch Curriculum is working with the Outreach Startup Incubator, which is led by the Outreach Manager. Unlike the first year curriculum, Outreach consists of one large app project that all Outreach Developers will conceptualize, design, create, and deploy. This project is a large scale app that aims to solve a meaningful problem on the local, national, or global scale. Outreach projects can function as mini startups, and they certainly aim to be like one. In fact, as a developer, you will need to come up with a Minimal Viable Product, a business model, and know how to market and fund your app.
Outreach is a Startup Incubator. That means that it incubates startups. iLaunch supports Outreach projects for one year, where the Outreach Manager and Club Management actively funds and guides the startup. Once the year ends (June), you and fellow Outreach Developers have the option of continuing to expand the project on your own, or to drop the project/wrap it up and work with the next year of developers in creating the next Outreach startup.
Outreach is a lot less structured than the first year, due to the sheer variety of potential projects that can be created. As such, you need to be self-motivated in pushing themselves to be their limits to make sure their idea has a successful and impactful launch.
Outreach begins with our Outreach Incubator program over the summer that teaches the UIKit framework, Git, and various entrepreneurial concepts (such as developing a Minimum Viable Product and Market Analysis), and continues throughout the school year.
So What Next?
By the time you finish both years of the iLaunch Curriculum, you will have gained a significant amount of experience with development, computer science in general, and how to work in and lead a team effectively.
Of course, our Two Year Core Curriculum is just the tip of the iceberg for what you can do at iLaunch! Our JWMS Program, Summer Program, Trips, Competitions, and Self Host Local Events, along with potential management positions, are more than enough to keep you busy during your four years at Princeton High School.