A Computational Thinking Approach to Learning Middle School Science
Computational Thinking (CT) defines a domain-general, analytic approach to problem solving, combining computer science concepts with practices central to modeling and reasoning in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) domains. In our research, we exploit this synergy to develop CTSiM (Computational Thinking in Simulation and Modeling) - a cross-domain, visual programming and agent based, scaffolded environment for learning CT and science concepts simultaneously. CTSiM allows students to conceptualize and build computational models of scientific phenomena, execute the models as simulations, conduct experiments to verify the simulation behaviors against ‘expert behavior’, and use the models to solve real world problems.
KeywordsComputational Thinking Science education Visual Programming Agent-based modeling and simulation Learning by design Scaffolding
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