Rosie Revere’s Orangutan Dilemma: Integrating Computational Thinking through Engineering Practices
For many years computational thinking has been taught in elementary/primary education classrooms in other countries, but in the U.S. this has only been a focus within the past few years due to the drastic shortage of computer scientists. Early exposure to computational thinking has been shown to motivate students to pursue STEM careers, especially computer science (Jin, Haynie, & Kearns, 2016). Despite this recent focus on teaching computational thinking in the early grades, many U.S. teachers still lack innovative pedagogical approaches to deliver these concepts. In the U.S., computational thinking at the elementary level is often taught using pre-assembled devices or virtual simulations/games programmed via drag and drop software (e.g., Scratch, Hour of Code). More engaging approaches that encourage inquiry and creativity when teaching computer science concepts are needed in U.S. elementary classrooms (Jin et al., 2016). In this article we present a design challenge focused on teaching third and fourth grade students computational thinking skills based on a scenario from a children’s book. The nature of this lesson lends itself to be modified for other grade levels or contexts to integrate literacy and computational thinking through authentic engineering design scenarios.
|Rosie Revere’s Orangutan Dilemma: Integrating Computational Thinking through Engineering Practices
|In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
|February 22, 2020
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