%ALopez-Parra, R.%ASubramaniam, R.%AMorphew, J.%D2023%I
%K
%MOSTI ID: 10451275
%PMedium: X
%TPromoting Computational Thinking in Integrated Engineering Design and Physics Labs
%XComputational thinking has widely been recognized as a crucial skill for engineers engaged in problem-solving. Multidisciplinary learning environments such as integrated STEM courses are powerful spaces where computational thinking skills can be cultivated. However, it is not clear the best ways to integrate computational thinking instruction or how students develop computational thinking in those spaces. Thus, we wonder: To what extent does engaging students in integrated engineering design and physics labs impact their development of computational thinking? We have incorporated engineering design within a traditional introductory calculus-based physics lab to promote studentsâ€™ conceptual understanding of physics while fostering scientific inquiry, mathematical modeling, engineering design, and computational thinking. Using a generic qualitative research approach, we explored the development of computational thinking for six teams when completing an engineering design challenge to propose an algorithm to remotely control an autonomous guided vehicle throughout a warehouse. Across five consecutive lab sessions, teams represented their algorithms using a flowchart, completing four iterations of their initial flowchart. 24 flowcharts were open coded for evidence of four computational thinking facets: decomposition, abstraction, algorithms, and debugging. Our results suggest that studentsâ€™ initial flowcharts focused on decomposing the problem and abstracting aspects that teams initially found to be more relevant. After each iteration, teams refined their flowcharts using pattern recognition, algorithm design, efficiency, and debugging. The teams would benefit from having more feedback about their understanding of the problem, the relevant physics concepts, and the logic and efficiency of the flowcharts
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