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Kong, S.C. (Ed.)While the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have presented computational thinking(CT)as an integral part of scientific inquiry, little work has been done to explicitly enable this connection in classrooms. We report on the efforts of one such design-based implementation research project which, with participation from local teachers, has been implementing CT infused STEM units in biology and chemistry classrooms. Using teacher reflections facilitated by an external evaluator, research field notes, and interviews, we identify possible issues of frame alignment in our implementations–that CT practices, particularly using computational models, were valued but would not enable students to gain a deeper understanding of scientific content. We then use this analysis and Schulman’s definition of teacher case knowledge to design a new element of the project that aims to enable teachers to promote collaborative scientific practice using computational models in the classroom that we call Lesson 0. We conclude with the discussion of a pilot implementation of this new lesson.
Workshops and Co-design Can Help Teachers Integrate Computational Thinking into Their K-12 STEM ClassesKong, 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.