Data in Motion: Sports as a site for expansive learning

Stephanie T. Jones*, Ja Coya Thompson, Marcelo Worsley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Context: Sports and technology are often pitted as being at odds with one another. While there are several educational activities that make reference to sports we seldom see sports used as an authentic context for learning computing. Objective: We describe the design of Data in Motion, a curriculum that considers the bi-directional opportunities for sports to improve learning of STEM and for STEM to help improve participants’ athletic performance. Method: We implement Data in Motion as a five-day summer camp with 33 participants, grades 2–6. We observe the ways that the experience changes students’ perceptions of the connection between sports and technology through student surveys, observations and artifact analyses. Findings: Across the pool of participants, we saw significant changes in the ways that students conceptualized the connection between technology and athletic performance. We also saw students who are not interested in sports demonstrate high engagement in the experience. Implications: Practice-linked learning, specifically in the context of sports and technology, is a generative space for students to authentically explore interests in both disciplines. Researchers and practitioners should consider this intersection as a potential space to broaden modes of participation in computer science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-312
Number of pages34
JournalComputer Science Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2020


  • Sports
  • computing
  • informal learning
  • practice-linked
  • wearables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education


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