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  1. Despite proliferated efforts to integrate computer science in elementary education, there is a dearth of studies that synthesize the current state of CS education research in formal educational contexts, specifically in upper elementary classrooms. Further, while numerous studies have investigated approaches and strategies that broaden participation in computing, the majority of them focus on secondary and post-secondary settings. The present study uses a systematic literature review process to review research conducted with students in formal classroom settings in grades 4, 5, and 6 and published since 2013. We review the research through two questions: What are barriers to broadening participation in CS in upper elementary (grades 4-6)? What instructional approaches and strategies help broaden participation in CS in upper elementary (grades 4-6)? A systematic search of the literature highlighted approaches used for broadening participation, including using various teaching media, designing scaffolds in instruction, and integrating into other subject areas. We conclude by identifying gaps in the research and identifying areas for further research. 
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  2. Rural students, schools, and communities have unique challenges that hinder academic achievement, growth, and opportunities, compared to other locales. While there is a need to study this community more, there is also a pressing need to bring the local community members together to support the future generation of learners in developing pathways that lead them to future career opportunities. This article focuses on how a Research Practice Partnership (RPP) can be developed in rural communities to support STEM pathways for local middle-school youth. RPPs are often described as long-term collaborations between both researchers and practitioners in which the participating partners leverage research to address specific persistent problems of practice. We present findings from a developing design-based RPP focused on bringing community members and organizations together to co-design opportunities for underserved youth in rural mountain communities. 
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  3. This article describes a sensor-based physical computing system, called the Data Sensor Hub (DaSH), which enables students to process, analyze, and display data streams collected using a variety of sensors. The system is built around the portable and affordable BBC micro:bit microcontroller (expanded with the gator:bit), which students program using a visual, cloud-based programming environment intended for novices. Students connect a variety of sensors (measuring temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, sound, acceleration, magnetism, etc.) and write programs to analyze and visualize the collected sensor data streams. The article also describes two instructional units intended for middle grade science classes that use this sensor-based system. These inquiry-oriented units engage students in designing the system to collect data from the world around them to investigate scientific phenomena of interest. The units are designed to help students develop the ability to meaningfully integrate computing as they engage in place-based learning activities while using tools that more closely approximate the practices of contemporary scientists as well as other STEM workers. Finally, the article articulates how the DaSH and units have elicited different kinds of teacher practices using student drawn modeling activities, facilitating debugging practices, and developing place-based science practices. 
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  4. null (Ed.)
    This paper describes the design and classroom implementation of a week-long unit that aims to integrate computational thinking (CT) into middle school science classes using programmable sensor technology. The goals of this sensor immersion unit are to help students understand why and how to use sensor and visualization technology as a powerful data-driven tool for scientific inquiry in ways that align with modern scientific practice. The sensor immersion unit is anchored in the investigation of classroom data where students engage with the sensor technology to ask questions about and design displays of the collected data. Students first generate questions about how data data displays work and then proceed through a set of programming exercises to help them understand how to collect and display data collected from their classrooms by building their own mini data displays. Throughout the unit students draw and update their hand drawn models representing their current understanding of how the data displays work. The sensor immersion unit was implemented by ten middle school science teachers during the 2019/2020 school year. Student drawn models of the classroom data displays from four of these teachers were analyzed to examine students’ understandings in four areas: func- tion of sensor components, process models of data flow, design of data displays, and control of the display. Students showed the best understanding when describing sensor components. Students exhibited greater confusion when describing the process of how data streams moved through displays and how programming controlled the data displays. 
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  5. This experience report describes an approach for helping elementary schools integrate computational thinking and coding by leveraging existing resources and infrastructure that do not rely on 1-1 computing. A particular focus is using the school library and media center as a site to complement and enhance classroom instruction on coding. Further, our approach builds upon "unplugged" knowledge and practices that are already familiar to and motivating for students, in this case tabletop board games. Through these games, students can use their prior knowledge and ease with tabletop gaming mechanics to cue relevant ideas for core computational concepts. We describe a model and an instructional unit spanning across classroom and school library settings that builds upon board game play as a source domain for computing knowledge. Building on expansive framing, the model emphasizes instructional linkages being made between one domain (the tabletop board game) and another (specially designed Scratch project shells with partially complete code blocks) such that the reasoning activities and different contexts are seen as instantiations of the same encompassing context. We present the experiences of three elementary school teachers as they implemented the unit in their classrooms and with their school librarian. We also show initial findings on the impact of the unit on student interest (N=87), as measured by pre- and post- surveys. We conclude with lessons learned about ways to improve the unit and future classroom implementations. 
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  6. Gresalfi, Melissa ; Horn, Ilana Seidel (Ed.)
    This paper presents an instructional design using expansive framing to introduce computer programming to upper elementary students. By using a tabletop board game as the context for learning, bridging connections between the learning in the board game and its digital instantiation, and privileging student authorship, we show how two students developed and transferred their understanding of several computational practices, including procedures and conditional logic, from the board game into their design of digital games in Scratch. 
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