Computer Science and Computational Thinking
Computer Science Education Week (December 5-11, 2016) serves as an annual opportunity for youth and adults to explore Computer Science (CS) and Computational Thinking (CT). This past January, President Obama called for every student to be given the opportunity to learn computer science, declaring computer science to be "a basic skill just like reading and writing," critical to the modern economy.
CS for All, announced by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) in partnership with other federal agencies and private partners, is ensuring that CS education is available to all students across the U.S. View the December 5 White House Fact Sheet for more information on how agencies and private partners are working together, including the new NSF program solicitation, Computer Science for All: Researcher Practitioner Partnerships (CS for All: RPP).
The ITEST program has been funding projects and research aimed at exposing youth from populations underrepresented in STEM to computer science, engineering and programming, to the computational thinking since 2013. Below are selected ITEST computer science-focused publications, resouces, and projects that are addressing the goals of CS for All.
On the Program for K-12: Computational Thinking
EDC’s Joyce Malyn-Smith discusses how technology can help all students extend their own thinking and solve complex problems.
National Science Foundation: Computer Science for All (CSforAll:RPP) Solicitation
The Computer Science for All Researcher Practitioner Partnerships (CS for All: RPP) program aims to provide all U.S. students the opportunity to participate in computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education in their schools at the K-12 levels.
STEM Learning Games and Game Design in ITEST Projects
This synthesis is based on a review of publications from ITEST projects, specifically relating to STEM learning games and game design experiences for students.
A Reciprocal Model for Teaching and Learning Computational Competencies: Connecting Pre-Service Teachers and Urban Latino Youth
This project includes an after-school program that will engage urban Latino middle school and high school students in activities aimed at developing computational competencies and promoting interests in pursuing computer science related studies and careers. The project will also engage pre-service teachers in a new professional development model that will include a specialized computer science teaching methods course, and will have them teach computational competencies in the after-school program.
Broadening Participation of Latina/o Students in Engineering Using an Integrated Mathematics, Engineering and Computing Curriculum in Authentic, Out-of-School Environments
The goals of the project are to motivate the participation of middle school students in urban and rural settings to pursue STEM and computing (STEM+C) careers. The project will develop an integrated curriculum that supports the learning of computing and engineering fundamentals through the underlying mathematics concepts.
Engaging Middle School Girls in Computational Electronic Design
This project will engage middle-school urban girls in learning sophisticated computer programming and electronics within supportive communities where the learning is embedded in meaningful projects.
ET-ECS: Electronic Textiles for Exploring Computer Science with High School Students and Teachers to Promote Computational Thinking and Participation for All
The project will develop implement, and test an expansion unit using electronic textiles for the Exploring Computer Science (ECS) curriculum that is currently implemented in high schools across the nation by providing an alternative to the existing robotics unit that can appeal and recruit larger group of girls and address the longstanding lack of women and minorities in computing.
Collaborative Research: Human-Centered Robotics Experiences for Exploring Engineering, Computer Science, and Society
Involving more students from urban and rural areas in STEM fields and careers has been at the forefront of national STEM education reform efforts for decades. Research shows that engaging these students in STEM activities relevant to their everyday lives is critical to increasing their motivation, interest, learning, and participation in STEM.
Inspiring Commitment for STEM Career Paths through Extended Women's Hackathons
This project, targeting high school Hispanic girls, will research how a coherent set of experiences supports student competency, motivation and persistence for productive participation in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT). workforce of the future. Participants will join other young women to take part in the Women's Hackathon @ CSUSM (California State University San Marcos) and participate in an after-school program that focuses on computer programming, career education, team building, and the non-programming components of the software development process.
Integrated Computer Science in Elementary Classrooms (iCS)
This collaborative project between the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Georgia Technical Institute, and Georgia State University will develop and test a model curriculum for grades 3-6 that aligns with ISTE's standards and computational thinking goals.
Middle School Pathways in Computer Science
This ITEST Strategies project will create a partnership of the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML), the Tri-City Technology Education Collaborative Inc. (TRITEC), and the urban school districts of Medford and Everett, MA to bring project-based, socially-relevant computing experiences to district middle school students.
Nano-satellites and East Bay Rocket Scientists (NEARS)
The Nanosatellites and East Bay Rocket Scientists (NEARS) project will develop and study a model that includes 1) engaging youth in designing and conducting locally-relevant scientific investigations that use programmable sensors on earth and on nanosatel
oDREAMS: Promoting Computational Thinking through Game & Simulation Design
Embedded in existing computing education and STEM courses, the project-developed curriculum--Scalable Game Design (SGD)--introduces middle school students to computational thinking through game design and advances them to STEM simulation design.
Scaling up an Innovative Approach for Attracting Students to Computing
US college and universities are experiencing a dramatic decline in enrollment of computing majors, despite a predicted, rapid increase in future jobs in the computer science (CS) and information technology (IT) sectors. This reflects a decline in the number of students taking the AP computer science exam. To address this issue, this project will build statewide networks of college, middle school, and high school faculty who will offer workshops and provide continuing support during the academic year.
Strategic Problem-based Approach to Rouse Computer Science (SPARCS)
The SPARCS project will support 72 teachers of grades 7-9 to integrate computer science into their science and math instruction. Because the world is adopting computational tools quickly, students need to learn about how computational technology can be leveraged to make informed decisions.
Understanding the Role of Gender in Engaging the Interest of Girls in Computer Science
The project will research the effects of single-gender computer science (CS) camps and gender aligned role models within that context.
Visualization Basics: Using Gaming to Improve Computational Thinking (UGame-ICompute)
Computing Attitudes Survey (CAS)
The Computing Attitudes Survey (CAS) is an extension of the Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey and measures novice-to-expert attitude shifts about the nature of knowledge and problem solving in computer science. It has five subscales related to different facets of attitudes measured on the survey (transfer, personal interest, problem solving strategies, real world connections, and fixed mindset). Validity and reliability of the CAS has been evaluated with first-year undergraduate students in a variety of classes for both majors and non-majors in computing fields at multiple institutions.
Computational Thinking Survey
A computational thinking survey was designed to assess K-12 education students’ attitudes toward computer science and their understanding of computational thinking before and after implemenation of a computational thinking (CT) module. The surveys consisted of sixteen multiple-choice questions on a Likert scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree and four open-ended questions.
The link below and attachement provide the instrument.
Adventures in Alice Programming
ITEST project Scaling up an Innovative Approach for Attracting Students to Computing shares its materials and lesson plans developed from its workshop series on its website. Originally used and created as part of a workshop series for middle school and high school teachers to learn how to incorporate Alice into their own lesson plans, the curricula provided are designed for use with middle school and high school students.
Through their focus on integrating computing and robotics into regular STEM classroom with hands-on project-based learning, the C-STEM Center, part of ITEST project Co-Robots for STEM Education in the 21st Century, has developed innovative teaching strategies, textbooks, and courseware.
Profile of the Data Practitioner
In April 2016, a panel of Big Data experts identified the big data skills, knowledge and behaviors of a "Data Practitioner" that are needed in the workplace. The panelists represent a diverse array of industries, including biotechnology, finance, law enforcement, health care, agriculture, and public policy.