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  4. Gresalfi, M. and (Ed.)
    Teachers in K-12 science classrooms play a key role in helping their students engage in computational thinking (CT) activities that reflect authentic science practices. However, we know less about how to support teachers in integrating CT into their classrooms. This paper presents a case of one science teacher over three years as she participated in a Design Based Implementation Research project focused on integrating CT into science curriculum. We analyze her professional growth as a designer and instructor as she created and implemented three computationally-enriched science units with the support of our research team. Results suggest that she became more confident in her understanding of and ability, leading to greater integration of CT in the science units. Relationships with the research team and co-design experiences mediated this growth. Findings yield implications for how best to support teachers in collaborative curriculum design.
  5. In the decades since Papert published Mindstorms (1980), computation has transformed nearly every branch of scientific practice. Accordingly, there is increasing recognition that computation and computational thinking (CT) must be a core part of STEM education in a broad range of subjects. Previous work has demonstrated the efficacy of incorporating computation into STEM courses and introduced a taxonomy of CT practices in STEM. However, this work rarely involved teachers as more than implementers of units designed by researchers. In The Children’s Machine, Papert asked “What can be done to mobilize the potential force for change inherent in the position of teachers?” (Papert, 1994, pg. 79). We argue that involving teachers as co-design partners supports them to be cultural change agents in education. We report here on the first phase of a research project in which we worked with STEM educators to co-design curricular science units that incorporate computational thinking and practices. Eight high school teachers and one university professor joined nine members of our research team for a month-long Computational Thinking Summer Institute (CTSI). The co-design process was a constructionist design and learning experience for both the teachers and researchers. We focus here on understanding the co-design process and itsmore »implications for teachers by asking: (1) How did teachers shift in their attitudes and confidence regarding CT? (2) What different co-design styles emerged and did any tensions arise? Generally, we found that teachers gained confidence and skills in CT and computational tools over the course of the summer. Only one teacher reported a decrease in confidence in one aspect of CT (computational modeling), but this seemed to result from gaining a broader and more nuanced understanding of this rich area. A range of co-design styles emerged over the summer. Some teachers chose to focus on designing the curriculum and advising on the computational tools to be used in it, while leaving the construction of those tools to their co-designers. Other teachers actively participated in constructing models and computational tools themselves. The pluralism of co-design styles allowed teachers of various comfort levels with computation to meaningfully contribute to a computationally enhanced constructionist curriculum. However, it also led to a tension for some teachers between working to finish their curriculum versus gaining experience with computational tools. In the time crunch to complete their unit during CTSI, some teachers chose to save time by working on the curriculum while their co-design partners (researchers) created the supporting computational tools. These teachers still grew in their computational sophistication, but they could not devote as much time as they wanted to their own computational learning.« less
  6. Kong, S.C. (Ed.)
    This work aims to help high school STEM teachers integrate computational thinking (CT) into their classrooms by engaging teachers as curriculum co-designers. K-12 teachers who are not trained in computer science may not see the value of CT in STEM classrooms and how to engage their students in computational practices that reflect the practices of STEM professionals. To this end, we developed a 4-week professional development workshop for eight science and mathematics high school teachers to co-design computationally enhanced curriculum with our team of researchers. The workshop first provided an introduction to computational practices and tools for STEM education. Then, teachers engaged in co-design to enhance their science and mathematics curricula with computational practices in STEM. Data from surveys and interviews showed that teachers learned about computational thinking, computational tools, coding, and the value of collaboration after the professional development. Further, they were able to integrate multiple computational tools that engage their students in CT-STEM practices. These findings suggest that teachers can learn to use computational practices and tools through workshops, and that teachers collaborating with researchers in co-design to develop computational enhanced STEM curriculum may be a powerful way to engage students and teachers with CT in K-12 classrooms.
  7. Abstract We investigate the environment and line of sight of the H0LiCOW lens B1608+656 using Subaru Suprime-Cam and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to perform a weak lensing analysis. We compare three different methods to reconstruct the mass map of the field, i.e. the standard Kaiser-Squires inversion coupled with inpainting and Gaussian or wavelet filtering, and ${\tt Glimpse}$ a method based on sparse regularization of the shear field. We find no substantial difference between the 2D mass reconstructions, but we find that the ground-based data is less sensitive to small-scale structures than the space-based observations. Marginalising over the results obtained with all the reconstruction techniques applied to the two available HST filters F606W and F814W, we estimate the external convergence, κext at the position of B1608+656 is $\kappa _{\mathrm{ext}}= 0.11^{+0.06}_{-0.04}$, where the error bars corresponds respectively to the 16th and 84th quartiles. This result is compatible with previous estimates using the number-counts technique, suggesting that B1608+656 resides in an over-dense line of sight, but with a completely different technique. Using our mass reconstructions, we also compare the convergence at the position of several groups of galaxies in the field of B1608+656 with the mass measurements using various analytical mass profiles,more »and find that the weak lensing results favor truncated halo models.« less
  8. SUMMARY Understanding infection dynamics in animal hosts is fundamental to managing spillover and emergence of zoonotic infections. Hendra virus is endemic in Australian pteropodid bat populations and can be lethal to horses and humans. However, we know little about the factors driving Hendra virus prevalence in resevoir bat populations, making spillover difficult to predict. We use Hendra virus prevalence data collected from 13 000 pooled bat urine samples across space and time to determine if pulses of prevalence are periodic and synchronized across sites. We also test whether site-specific precipitation and temperature affect the amplitude of the largest annual prevalence pulses. We found little evidence for a periodic signal in Hendra virus prevalence. Although the largest amplitude pulses tended to occur over winter, pulses could also occur in other seasons. We found that Hendra virus prevalence was weakly synchronized across sites over short distances, suggesting that prevalence is driven by local-scale effects. Finally, we found that drier conditions in previous seasons and the abundance of Pteropus alecto were positively correlated with the peak annual values of Hendra virus prevalence. Our results suggest that in addition to seasonal effects, bat density and local climatic conditions interact to drive Hendra virus infectionmore »dynamics.« less