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  1. In this experience report, we describe the Investigating Air Quality curriculum unit that integrates computational data practices with science learning in middle school science classrooms. The unit is part of the Coding Science Internship instructional model, designed to broaden access to computer science (CS) learning through scalable integration in core science courses, and through confronting barriers to equitable participation in STEM. In this report, we describe the core features of the unit and share preliminary findings and insights from student experiences in 13 science classrooms. We discuss affordances and challenges for student learning of computational data practices in formal science classrooms, and conclude with emerging recommendations for instructional designers. 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    In order to expand opportunities to learn computer science (CS),there is a growing push for inclusion of CS concepts and practices, such as computational thinking (CT), in required subjects like science. Integrated, transdisciplinary (CS/CT+X) approaches have shown promise for broadening access to CS and CT learning opportunities, addressing potential self-selection bias associated with elective CS coursework and afterschool programs, and promotinga more expansive and authentic contextualization of CS work. Emerging research also points to pedagogical strategies that can transcend simply broadening access, by also working to confront barriers to equitable and inclusive engagement in CS. Yet, approaches to integration vary widely, and there is little consensus on whether and how different models for CS and CT integration contribute to desired outcomes. There has also been little theory development that can ground systematic examination of the affordances and tradeoffs of different models. Toward that end, we propose a typology through which to examine CT integration in science (CT+S). The purpose of delineating a typology of CT+S integration is to encourage instantiation, implementation, and inspection of different models for integration, and to promote shared understanding among learning designers, researchers, and practitioners working at the intersection of CT and science. For each model in the typology, we characterize how CT+S integration is accomplished, the ways in which CT learning supports science learning, and the affordances and tensions for equity and inclusion that may arise upon implementation in science classrooms. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
    We will present emerging findings from an ongoing study of instruction at the intersection of science and computer science for middle school science classrooms. This paper focuses on student knowledge and dispositional outcomes in relation to a 2 week/10-lesson learning sequence. Instruction aims to broaden participation in STEM pathways through a virtual simulated internship in which students inhabit the role of interns working to develop a restoration plan to improve the health of coral reef populations. Through this collaborative work, students construct understanding of biotic and abiotic interactions within the reef and develop a computational model of the ecosystem. Analysis of pre/post surveys for n=381 students revealed that students who participated in the 2 week/10 lesson integrated computational thinking in science learning sequence demonstrated significant learning gains on an external measure of CT (0.522***; effect size=0.32). Drawing on scales from the Activation Lab suite of measures, pre/post surveys revealed increased competency beliefs about computer programming (mean difference =1.13***; effect size=1.01), and increased value assigned to STEM (0.78***; effect size=0.945). We also discuss the design of the instructional sequence and the theoretical framework for its development. 
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  4. Facility with foundational practices in computer science (CS) is increasingly recognized as critical for the 21st century workforce. Developing this capacity and broadening participation in CS disciplines will require learning experiences that can engage a larger and more diverse student population (Margolis et al., 2008). One promising approach involves including CS concepts and practices in required subjects like science. Yet, research on the scalability of educational innovations consistently demonstrates that their successful uptake in formal classrooms depends on teachers’ perceived alignment of the innovations with their goals and expectations for student learning, as well as with the specific needs of their school context and culture (Blumenfeld et al., 2000; Penuel et al., 2007; Bernstein et al., 2016). Research is nascent, however, about how exactly to achieve this alignment and thereby position integrated instructional models for uptake at scale. To contribute to this understanding, we are developing and studying two units for core middle school science classrooms, known as Coding Science Internships. The units are designed to support broader participation in CS, with a particular emphasis on females, by expanding students’ perception of the nature and value of coding. CS and science learning are integrated through a simulated internship model, in which students, as interns, apply science knowledge and use computer programming as a tool to address real-world problems. In one unit, students gain first-hand experience with sequences, loops, and conditionals as they program and debug an interactive scientific model of a coral reef ecosystem under threat. The second unit engages students in learning concepts related to data analysis and visualization, abstraction, and modularity as they code data visualizations using real EPA air quality data. A core goal for both units is to provide students experience with some of the increasingly prevalent ways that computer science is integrated into the work of scientists. 
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  5. Computational tools, and the computational thinking (CT) involved in their use, are pervasive in science, supporting and often transforming scientific understanding. Yet, longstanding disparities in access to learning opportunities means that CT’s growing role risks deepening persistent inequities in STEM [2]. To address this problem, our team developed and studied two 10-lesson instructional units for middle school science classrooms, each designed to challenge persistent barriers to equitable participation in STEM. The units aim to position coding as a tool for doing science, and ultimately, encourage a broader range of students, and females in particular, to identify as programmers. Students who participated (n=391) in a recent study of the units demonstrated statistically significant learning gains, as measured on an external assessment of CT. Learning gains were particularly pronounced for female students. Findings suggest that students can develop CT through instruction that foregrounds science, and in ways that lead to more equitable outcomes. 
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