Vectors of ct-ification: Integrating computational activities in stem classrooms

Connor Bain, Uri Wilensky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

While the Next Generation Science Standards set an expectation for developing computer science and computational thinking (CT) practices in the context of science subjects, it is an open question as to how to create curriculum and assessments that develop and measure these practices. In this poster, we show one possible solution to this problem: to introduce students to computer science through infusing computational thinking practices (CT-ifying) science classrooms. To address this gap, our group has worked to explicitly characterize core CT-STEM practices as specific learning objectives and we use these to guide our development of science curriculum and assessments. However, having these learning objectives in mind is not enough to actually create activities that engage students in CT practices. We have developed along with science teachers, a strategy of examining a teacher's existing curricula and identifying potential activities and concepts to CT-ify, rather than creating entirely new curricula from scratch by using the concept of scale as an attack vector to design science units that integrate computational thinking practices into traditional science curricula. We demonstrate how we conceptualize four different versions of scale in science, 1. Time, 2. Size, 3. Number, and 4. Repeatability.We also present examples of these concepts in traditional high school science curricula that hundreds of students in a large urban US school district have used.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSIGCSE 2020 - Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages1361
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367936
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 26 2020
Event51st ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2020 - Portland, United States
Duration: Mar 11 2020Mar 14 2020

Publication series

NameAnnual Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, ITiCSE
ISSN (Print)1942-647X

Conference

Conference51st ACM SIGCSE Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, SIGCSE 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPortland
Period3/11/203/14/20

Keywords

  • Agent-based modeling
  • Computational thinking
  • Science education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Education

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