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  1. Chinn, C. ; Tan, E. ; Chan C. ; Yael, K. (Ed.)
    Ecologists construct physical microcosms that exemplify mechanisms and relations in ecosystems. This poster describes how a 7th-grade classroom complemented field study of an intertidal ecosystem with design of classroom microcosms. Initial designs appeared constrained by literal resemblance. As students’ inquiry increasingly focused on interactions among organisms, they configured microcosms to facilitate observation of these interactions. Microcosms became sites for studying processes that could be inferred from field data but rarely observed directly.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Chinn, C. ; Tan, E. ; Chan C. ; Yael, K (Ed.)
    The work of ecologists entails structuring variability by parsing random and directed variability. Middle-grade students are often introduced to ideas about probability and statistics in mathematics, but these ideas are rarely employed in science investigations. This paper reports on a design study in one 7th-grade science classroom that participated in a citizen-science project investigating changes in invasive crab populations. Students surveyed crab abundance at one field site, contributing observations to a citizen-science database. Finding an unexpected atio between male and female crabs in their sample, students compared the ratio obtained in the field to a simulated sampling distribution of ratios in light of an equiprobable assumption. Finding that their sample’s sex ratio was improbable yet consistent with samples in the larger database instigated a search for ecological mechanism. Evidence of student thinking in classroom conversations point to seeds of distinguishing random from directed variability.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  3. EcoMOD uses a design-based research approach to develop and study an elementary curriculum that combines an immersive virtual environment with interactive computer programming interface to support computational modeling, ecosystem science understanding, and causal reasoning. Here we report on changes in students’ perspectives on modeling before and after use of the fifteen day interactive, technology-based curriculum in a 3rd and 4th grade classroom. Pre-post interviews were conducted with ten students, and preliminary results suggest that students demonstrated an increased awareness that models are designed for a purpose, and the purposes students described aligned more closely with scientifically relevant activities like prediction, investigation and explanation. Students also increased in their level of sophistication related to ecosystem science understanding and causal reasoning.
  4. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
    There is broad belief that preparing all students in preK-12 for a future in STEM involves integrating computing and computational thinking (CT) tools and practices. Through creating and examining rich “STEM+CT” learning environments that integrate STEM and CT, researchers are defining what CT means in STEM disciplinary settings. This interactive session brings together a diverse spectrum of leading STEM researchers to share how they operationalize CT, what integrated CT and STEM learning looks like in their curriculum, and how this learning is measured. It will serve as a rich opportunity for discussion to help advance the state of the field of STEM and CT integration.
  5. Gresalfi, M. ; Horn, I. S. (Ed.)
    There is broad belief that preparing all students in preK-12 for a future in STEM involves integrating computing and computational thinking (CT) tools and practices. Through creating and examining rich “STEM+CT” learning environments that integrate STEM and CT, researchers are defining what CT means in STEM disciplinary settings. This interactive session brings together a diverse spectrum of leading STEM researchers to share how they operationalize CT, what integrated CT and STEM learning looks like in their curriculum, and how this learning is measured. It will serve as a rich opportunity for discussion to help advance the state of the field of STEM and CT integration.