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Connecting Computational Thinking and Science in a US Elementary Classroom

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Integrated Approaches to STEM Education

Part of the book series: Advances in STEM Education ((ASTEME))

Abstract

In the USA, a new vision for science education along with new science standards emphasizes student capacity to deepen engagement with scientific and engineering practices that reinforce scientific ideas and crosscutting concepts. Yet there is a paucity of research that supports pedagogical practices that leverage the affordance of computational thinking toward understanding of the particle nature of matter. In this chapter, we describe a fifth grade project-based learning unit that promotes movement along a progression of understanding of the idea of the particle nature of matter and the practice of computational thinking. We apply a case study design to analyze small group collaborative student discourse over 1 month. We focus on students engaged in the unit, “How can we design a new taste?”. We demonstrate how computational thinking, the particle nature of matter, and the ideas of patterns mutually reinforce one another and simultaneously offer access to explaining and predicting the phenomenon of taste.

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Miller, E.C., Severance, S., Krajcik, J. (2020). Connecting Computational Thinking and Science in a US Elementary Classroom. In: Anderson, J., Li, Y. (eds) Integrated Approaches to STEM Education. Advances in STEM Education. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52229-2_11

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52229-2_11

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-52228-5

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-52229-2

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