Resources

Resources included in these libraries were submitted by ITEST projects or STELAR and are relevant to the work of the NSF ITEST Program. PDFs and/or URLs to the original resource are included in the resource description whenever possible. In some cases, full text publications are located behind publishers’ paywalls and a fee or membership to the third party site may be required for access. Permission for use must be requested through the publisher or author listed in each entry.

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Resources included in these libraries were submitted by ITEST projects or STELAR and are relevant to the work of the NSF ITEST Program. PDFs and/or URLs to the original resource are included in the resource description whenever possible. In some cases, full text publications are located behind publishers’ paywalls and a fee or membership to the third party site may be required for access. Permission for use must be requested through the publisher or author listed in each entry.

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Accessible Playground Design: A Community-Connected Elementary Engineering Unit Focused on Designing Accessible Playground Equipment

Publications

In the ConnecTions in the Making project, researchers and district partners work to develop and study community-connected, integrated science and engineering curriculum units that support diverse elementary students’ science and engineering ideas, practices, and attitudes. In the community-connected units, students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades use human-centered design strategies to prototype and share functional solutions to a design challenge rooted in the students’ local community while scientifically exploring the phenomena and mechanisms related to the challenge.One of the units

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Delivering Hands-On Experiences with STEM Technologies in Virtual Learning Environments: Professional Development for a Diverse Network of School Educators

Publications

Diversifying the STEM pipeline requires reforming school educator practices to adjust how STEM messaging and learning experiences influence diverse young people’s interests and trajectory into STEM long-term. Catalyzing Inclusive STEM Experiences All Year Round (CISTEME365) is an NSF multi-pronged project designed to offer professional development and networked community for school educators to improve their knowledge and implementation of STEM experiences for their students. We worked with school educators to create and implement informal hands-on activities with STEM technologies for

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Your Phone as a Sensor: Making IoT Accessible for Novice Programmers

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Your Phone as a Sensor: Making IoT Accessible for Novice Programmers

Distributed computing, computer networking, and the Internet of Things are all around us, yet only computer science and engineering majors learn the technologies that enable our modern lives. This paper introduces PhoneIoT, a mobile app that makes it possible to teach some of the basic concepts of distributed computation and networked sensing to novices. PhoneIoT turns mobile phones and tablets into IoT devices and makes it possible to create highly engaging projects through NetsBlox, an open-source block-based programming environment focused on teaching distributed computing at the high

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Exploring Generative Models with Middle School Students

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Exploring Generative Models with Middle School Students

Applications of generative models such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) have made their way to social media platforms that children frequently interact with. While GANs are associated with ethical implications pertaining to children, such as the generation of Deepfakes, there are negligible eforts to educate middle school children about generative AI. In this work, we present a generative models learning trajectory (LT), educational materials, and interactive activities for young learners with a focus on GANs, creation and application of machine-generated media, and its ethical

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The Effects of Providing Starter Projects in Open-Ended Scratch Activities

Publications
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Examples of projects using Conditional Loops

Given the importance of broadening participation in the field of computing, goals of supporting personal expression and developing a sense of belonging must live alongside the goals of conceptual knowledge and developing disciplinary expertise. Integrating opportunities for students to be creative in how they enact computing ideas plays an important role when designing curricula. We examine how student creativity, as expressed through theme and the use of costumes, backdrops, and narrative in Scratch projects, is affected by using a themed starter project. Starter projects are Scratch projects

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Artificial Intelligence and Learning: NSF ITEST Projects At-A-Glance

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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is permeating the world around us, changing the ways we live, work, and learn. The National Science Foundation (NSF) lists AI as one of its organization-wide priorities, and is encouraging programs like ITEST to pursue what it means to prepare youth for careers in AI. In response to this, the STELAR convened an AI working group comprised of more than 20 projects funded through a variety of NSF programs. This paper is designed to highlight the areas being explored by these projects, to provide an overview of what has been funded within the ITEST portfolio to date

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A multiple case study of an interorganizational collaboration: Exploring the first year of an industry partnership focused on middle school engineering education

Publications

Calls to improve learning in science, technology, engineering,and mathematics (STEM), and particularly engineering, present significantchallenges for school systems. Partnerships among engineering industry, uni-versities, and school systems to support learning appear promising, but currentwork is limited in its conclusions because it lacks a strong connection to theo-retical work in interorganizational collaboration.

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Experiences of Students, Teachers, and Parents Participating in an Inclusive, School-Based Informal Engineering Education Program

Publications
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Many youth on the autism spectrum possess interests and strengths for STEM-related postsecondary pathways, yet there are few research-based programs to support those interests and competencies including complex problem solving and social communication. This qualitative study explored the experiences and perceived outcomes of students, teachers, and parents participating in an inclusive, strength-based, extracurricular engineering design program entitled the IDEAS Maker Club. Twenty-six students, 13 parents, and nine teachers in the program completed interviews and program logs while

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Students’ Use of Computational Thinking Practices in an Undergraduate Biology‑Engineering Course

Publications
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The construct of Computational Thinking (CT) frst emerged to describe problem solving in the context of computing environments, but it has expanded to serve as a set of practices that can be applied across disciplines with or without the use of computers. We recorded students’ work during two lab sessions in an undergraduate, biology-engineering course to answer the question, how did students’ participation in CT practices vary according the disciplinary contexts and the demands of a biology lab compared to the engineering lab? We found that students applied some of the same CT practices, but

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Telepresence Robots Outperform Traditional Videoconferences in Higher Education: A Longitudinal Study

Publications

This paperpresents the results of an evaluation study on the use of telepresence robots in higher education. For the first time, infour seminars,35 teacher traineestook part both viatelepresence robot andviaSkype videoconference. Overall,we foundthat students showeda high acceptance ofusing telepresence robotsin higher education. Students’ acceptance was already high at the beginning of the seminars, increased further during the seminars,and exceeded the acceptance ofusingconventional videoconferences at the end of the seminars. In addition, students did not find the presence of the robots

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