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explore our CAMPUS

What's cool about our campus is that it's spread out over seven acres in Philadelphia's historic neighborhood of Germantown. The buildings are an eclectic mix of old and new, a unique look and feel more consistent with a college campus. With three gyms, three auditoriums, a student center, numerous open, green spaces and nine classroom buildings, it's a place worthy of adoration and exploration. The Meetinghouse, at the center of it all, provides a beautiful and spiritual focal point.

1. Main Building 2. Meetinghouse 3. Sharpless 4. Hargroves 5. Wade Science Center 6. Alumni Building 7. Admissions 8. Living Graveyard 9. Dead Graveyard 10. Loeb Performing Arts Center 11. Smith Gym 12. Cary Building 13. Friends Free Library 14. Field House 15. Scattergood Gym

we have deep roots in this place

Values Container

The Pillars of A

Quaker Education

At GFS, students and teachers gather in Meeting for Worship once each week. This is a time for shared, silent contemplation. Anyone who feels moved to speak may rise and do so. It is a simple formula, and can be a remarkably powerful experience.In these days of constant connectivity, the ability and opportunity to sit in silence have special value. Meeting for Worship is a cornerstone of the GFS culture that many come to cherish throughout their lives.

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speak the truth

We strive to deal fairly, equally and honestly with everyone. We aim to do as we say, reflecting our beliefs in our actions. even when it is inconvenient or challenging, we stand by our convictions, striving to lead lives of integrity.

Shine Together

We are all blessed with remarkable gifts. We are equally qualified to seek truth and to hear the voice of God. Every person deserves equal respect. For these reasons, we work against prejudice and discrimination and for equality.

stay connected

"Alone we can do little; together we can do so much."* We know there is strength in cooperation and wisdom to be found when many perspectives come together. We believe in the power of community.*
The words of Helen Keller.

keep it simple

In every way we can, we try to minimize the distractions that can draw our attention from the important things in life. This means not becoming overwhelmed by the busyness of daily routine. It means seeking balance. It means embracing simplicity.

care for all

This planet we inhabit, the talents we've been given, the community of which we are a part- all hold remarkable value. We must be responsible, imaginative and proactive in protecting these gifts and caring for the world and people around us. We must exercise good stewardship.

promote peace

We believe each life is precious and unique. We stand against war and violence and work to eliminate their root causes, including ignorance, racism, hatred and oppression. We are committed to creating peace.

  • Truth
  • Shine
  • Connected
  • Simple
  • Care
  • Peace

Faces Container


Edit in Media Manager

Computer Science + Digital Media

The Computer Science and Digital Media Department provides coursework rich in opportunities for building fundamental skills and exploring programming, robotics, electronics, and digital design. Our programming language of choice is the widely-used Python, a favorite for introductory courses in high schools and colleges due to its gentle learning curve. Additional levels of programming offer our student programmers a substantial forum for learning the skills and techniques necessary for sophisticated large-scale projects. Digital Media coursework at GFS, combining technology and design, provides students with the opportunity to develop design skills and explore the creative potential of technology, using with the suite of offerings associated with the Adobe Creative Cloud.

The department revises its courses every year to account for student interest and the dynamics of this rapidly changing field.


CS111 Robotics
minor elective (one semester) | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This fun one semester, no-homework minor elective uses robots to introduce students to the intersection of computer programming and mechanical/electronic devices. Students will assemble robots and then learn to program them to perform tasks, ranging from simple (moving forward, turning on a light, etc.) to complex (finding and retrieving an object, playing soccer, etc.). Most units culminate in an exciting challenge: teams of students try to get their robot to accomplish a task (e.g., robot bowling, relay races, tug of war) more effectively than the other teams. No previous experience in robotics or programming is necessary. Students signing up for Robotics should request their preferred semester, first or second. Enrollment limited to 12 students per section.

CS130 Computer Science 1: Introductory Programming
minor elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This full-year minor elective seeks to introduce students to computer programming. We will begin the year by learning Scratch, a programming environment that makes it easy to create an animated story or an interactive game. Scratch allows students to learn fundamental programming concepts in a simple drag-and-drop context.

After Scratch, the remainder of the year will focus on learning Python, a programming language used at many colleges and high schools as their introductory language. The learning curve for Python is gentle, so students learn the basics quickly and produce simple programs easily.

Students will progress to more advanced projects, such as interactive games, card games and casino simulations.

No previous experience is necessary. This class typically has little to no homework and is pass/fail.

CS100 Introductory Programming: Girls Who Code
minor elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This Girls Who Code section of Introductory Programming (see course description for CS130 Computer Science 1) will also include meetings with women in the field to discuss their work in technology. No previous experience is necessary.

A Note on Introductory Programming: Girls Who Code
To encourage girls to study technology, we offer this “girls only” section of Introductory Programming. This section, which has been offered previously, reflects our desire to address the gender gap in technology and engineering.

CS140 Computer Science 2: Object-Oriented Programming
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Computer Science 1 or by permission of instructor

This full-year elective course builds on the skills developed in Computer Science 1. The course continues to use Python to examine more advanced topics in programming. The class will explore topics such as abstraction, recursion, hash tables, and object-oriented programming. This class also serves as a brief introduction to the concept of algorithms, exploring sorting algorithms and program run-time. Students will spend a mixture of their time learning concepts and working on their own programs, either in collaboration or alone.

CS150 Computer Science 3: Algorithms & Computer Organization
minor elective | Grade: 11, 12
prerequisite: Computer Science 2 or permission of instructor

This course is split into two units. The first unit consists of exploring algorithms and data structures with Java, an object-oriented programming language. This will introduce students to the language that is featured on the AP exam (GFS does not require or discourage students from taking AP exams). The second unit introduces students to computer organization, or how a computer works. They will learn about digital logic and explore how transistors interact by modeling them with Arduino boards. They will be also be briefly introduced to low-level languages such as C and Assembly.

CS180 Mobile App Development
minor elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This course introduces students to programming technologies, design and development for mobile device applications. Topics include accessing device capabilities, industry standards, operating systems, and programming for mobile applications using an OS Software Development Kit (SDK). Students will learn how to design mobile interfaces, how to use libraries to build applications that have the proper look and feel, how to use table views, and how to design and manage user input. Upon completion, students should be able to create basic applications for mobile devices.

CS190 Electronics Design Workshop
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Computer Science 1 or Robotics, or by permission of the instructor

This is a hands-on, project-based class that introduces students to digital electronics technology. Digital electronics is the foundation of devices such as cell phones, laptops, digital cameras, robotic devices, and more. Students will analyze, design and build digital electronic circuits and develop applications and devices to accomplish defined tasks. The course will lead students through the analysis of a task that can use electronic controls, or a problem that can be solved by electronic controls, and then students will design a device that can perform the task or solve the problem.

CS155 Computer Science Programming Capstone
minor elective | grades 11, 12
prerequisite: Computer Science 3 or departmental approval

The Capstone course in the Computer Science/Digital Media department is the culmination of the academic courses we offer in programming. It builds on the concepts and skills covered in the Computer Science 2 and 3 programming classes. This course will focus on larger projects and, in many cases, students will work in teams. Students will identify a complex problem or project that requires them to apply, and extend, their programming skills and knowledge and to produce an appropriate programmatic outcome. Based on student interest, so students in the course will drive the content of the class.

CS171 Digital Design I
minor elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This introductory survey class is open to students eager to explore the tools and technology fueling the creative economy. Students will learn how to use text, graphics, video, and interaction design to express ideas through a variety of digital media. Topics include user-centered design (user interface and user experience), visual communication, typography, digital illustration, motion graphics, and digital humanities. Students will gain introductory experience with Adobe Creative Cloud tools, including Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, After Effects and Adobe XD, as they explore and apply digital design methodologies and practices. Students will be able to use and apply their skills in course work and projects throughout the curriculum and in clubs and student publications such as Earthquake, Polyphony, and Anno (yearbook).

CS160 Web Design & Development I
minor elective | grades: 9, 10, 11, 12
This course covers the basics of designing websites, as well as web development using the HTML and CSS authoring languages. Students learn about the creative design of websites, including the strengths, constraints, and limitations of this medium of communication. Students will code their own web pages from scratch, using the latest web standards and tools, such as HTML5, CSS3, coding software, wireframing, and browser tools and plug-ins for web developers. Students complete several assignments and projects to master the course objectives, including a final project to create an original design for a microsite on a topic of the student’s choice. To support their work, students complete readings from the course texts and selected articles; they share their original work and critically reflect on real-world examples. Enrollment limited to 12 students per section.

CS170 Web Design & Development II
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Web Design & Development I or permission of instructor

This advanced course builds upon the principles and skills acquired during the Web Design & Development course. Students learn more advanced CSS3 coding techniques to create web pages employing the latest trends and standards in web design. Topics include HTML5 semantic tags, CSS selectors and combinators, text styling and embedded fonts, special effects, transforms, transitions and animations, CSS3 layout techniques, responsive web design, and a brief introduction to jQuery plugins. Using text editing software and developer tools, students complete several smaller assignments to master the course objectives. In addition to the course text, students complete readings and participate in class discussions on topics such as page and site design, color schemes, fonts, imagery, and site management. Students incorporate all they have learned to produce a final project: to design and implement a functional site for a real client using WordPress or another content management software. Enrollment limited to 12 students per section.

ART870 Mixed-Media Animation
minor elective | grades: 10, 11, 12
prerequisite: Foundation (Art)

This course introduces students to a variety of traditional and contemporary techniques in animation. Looking at examples of animations in art and film, as well as nonfiction topics such as science and history, students will learn hand-drawn, stop-motion and digital methods for making their own animations. Story building will be key in developing ideas for production. Students will also learn to edit the animations and incorporate sound effects and music. Throughout the course, students will produce a series of short animated sequences using a variety of techniques, themes, and media as they explore how these choices impact their stories. These works will build to one or more major projects. An historical overview and international perspective are provided through film screenings and group discussion, and students will review and discuss current trends in animation. Enrollment limited to 12 students per section.