Computational Thinking

National Science Foundation - Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Program Solicitation

ITEST is a program that promotes PreK-12 student interests and capacities to participate in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communications technology (ICT) workforce of the future. To achieve this objective, ITEST supports the development, implementation, and selective spread of innovative strategies for engaging students in experiences that: 


CSforAll + Research-Practice Partnerships Workshop

March 1-2, Chicago (co-hosted by Northwestern)
Space is limited! Register now:



STELAR Webinar: Unpacking Computational Thinking & CT's Role in Interdisciplinary Learning

Computational Thinking and CT have become a buzz word and buzz acronym in schools and education systems worldwide, yet is still a phrase that invokes confusion and debate. This 2-part webinar will devote the first part to unpacking CT and the second to discussing CT in the context of non-CS disciplinary learning.

In Part 1, Dr. Shuchi Grover will do a encore (with a few relevant contextual edits) of her keynote address to 700 heads of schools in New Delhi in September 2017. She will discuss:

Unlimited slots left.

How Baltimore Is Growing Its Tech Gurus From Scratch

The Digital Harbor Foundation, recent recipient of ITEST funding, was featured last month in Politico Magazine's "What Works" series. Digital Harbor, a non-profit maker-space laboratory located in Baltimore, is teaching area youth to learn STEM by doing, and having fun: 


NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Discovery Research PreK-12: Advancing STEM+Computing

Dear Colleague Letter: Discovery Research PreK-12: Advancing STEM+Computing (NSF 17-149)

Advanced Bioinformatics: Genetic Research (Bio-ITEST)

The Bio-ITEST genetic research curriculum unit explores how bioinformatics is used to perform genetic research. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST, ORFinder, ClustalW and Cn3D are used to analyze genetic sequences. The cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene is introduced as the “DNA barcoding” gene that allows for identification of species. Students examine DNA sequences from different animal species, investigate the relationship between protein structure and function, and explore evolutionary relationships among eukaryotic organisms.


Introductory Bioinformatics: Genetic Testing (Bio-ITEST)

The Bio-ITEST genetic testing curriculum explores how bioinformatics is applied to genetic testing. Specifically, the bioinformatics tools of BLAST and Cn3D are used to investigate the genetic and molecular consequences of a mutation to the Breast Cancer Susceptibility 1 (BRCA1) gene. Students are also introduced to principles-based bioethics in order to support their thoughtful consideration of the many social and ethical implications of genetic testing. Throughout the unit, students are presented with a number of career options in which the tools of bioinformatics are used.


Bioinformatics Education in High School: Implications for Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Careers

We investigated the effects of our Bio-ITEST teacher professional development model and bioinformatics curricula on cognitive traits (awareness, engagement, self-efficacy, and relevance) in high school teachers and students that are known to accompany a developing interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers.


Concord Consortium Data Science Education Webinar

Join ITEST colleagues at the Concord Consortium on Tuesday, May 30, as they host Cliff Konold of the Scientific Reasoning Research Institute for a 2-hour webinar about data science education. Cliff will lead a discussion of the article “Modeling as a core component of structuring data” (Konold, Finzer, & Kreetong, in press), which describes research on student understanding of and ability to organize complex data for analysis.


NSF Dear Colleague Letter: Growing Convergence Research at NSF

Growing Convergence Research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments. NSF seeks to highlight the value of convergence as a process for catalyzing new research directions and advancing scientific discovery and innovation. This Dear Colleague Letter describes an initial set of opportunities to explore Convergence approaches within four of the research-focused NSF Big Ideas: