Characterizing Advantages and Challenges for Students Engaging in Computational Thinking and Systems Thinking Through Model ConstructionGresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
As human society advances, new scientific challenges are constantly emerging. The use of systems thinking (ST) and computational thinking (CT) can help elucidate these problems and bring us closer to a possible solution. The construction and use of models is one of the most widely used tools when trying to understand systems. In this paper, we examine four case studies of student pairs who were engaged in building and using system models in an NGSS-aligned project-based learning unit on chemical kinetics. Using a theoretical framework that describes how CT and ST practices are manifested in the modeling process we examine the progression of students’ models during their model revisions and explore strategies they employ to overcome modeling challenges they face. We discuss some suggestions to scaffold students’ progression in constructing computational system models and prepare teachers to support their students in engaging in CT and ST practices.