1. Rachel Adler
  2. http://cs.neiu.edu/~radler
  3. Assistant Professor
  5. Northeastern Illinois University
  1. Joseph Hibdon
  2. Assistant Professor
  4. Northeastern Illinois University
  1. Brittany Pines
  2. Project Director
  4. Northeastern Illinois University

Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing within an Elementary and Midd...

NSF Awards: 1640041

2019 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8, Undergraduate

As part of an NSF STEM +C grant, we modified the curriculum for our preservice elementary and middle school science and math teachers to include (a) a new course, Computer Science for All and (b) computational thinking modules incorporated into four existing courses.  The new computer science course is designed to provide a foundation in computational thinking and coding skills and can be taken early on in their coursework. Students in the course are introduced to computational thinking concepts, such as algorithmic thinking, as well as coding through platforms such as Scratch and robotics. The skills they learn in this course align with newly created computational thinking modules which are included in four courses for educators. Students from the Departments of Computer Science, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, and Education worked together with faculty from those departments to create computational thinking modules. In Geometry Concepts for Educators students use Scratch to create a geometric representation of art that is culturally relevant to them.  In Physics Concepts for Educators students use VPython to learn about vectors, which they apply to a map of their own neighborhoods. In Biology Concepts for Educators students model an epidemic outbreak to predict the spread of disease using NetLogo. In Science Methods students build and program an earthquake simulator using Lego Mindstorm EV3 robots. They will be able to use the computational thinking and coding skills they acquire in these courses in their future careers as educators. 

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