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Exploring Computational Thinking in 9-12 Education: Developing a Computer Science Curriculum for Bioscience High School

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Bioscience High School, a small magnet high school located in Downtown Phoenix and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focused school, has been pushing to establish a computer science

Bioscience High School, a small magnet high school located in Downtown Phoenix and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) focused school, has been pushing to establish a computer science curriculum for all of their students from freshman to senior year. The school's Mision (Mission and Vision) is to: "..provide a rigorous, collaborative, and relevant academic program emphasizing an innovative, problem-based curriculum that develops literacy in the sciences, mathematics, and the arts, thus cultivating critical thinkers, creative problem-solvers, and compassionate citizens, who are able to thrive in our increasingly complex and technological communities." Computational thinking is an important part in developing a future problem solver Bioscience High School is looking to produce. Bioscience High School is unique in the fact that every student has a computer available for him or her to use. Therefore, it makes complete sense for the school to add computer science to their curriculum because one of the school's goals is to be able to utilize their resources to their full potential. However, the school's attempt at computer science integration falls short due to the lack of expertise amongst the math and science teachers. The lack of training and support has postponed the development of the program and they are desperately in need of someone with expertise in the field to help reboot the program. As a result, I've decided to create a course that is focused on teaching students the concepts of computational thinking and its application through Scratch and Arduino programming.

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  • 2016-05

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Comparative Analysis in Acquisition of Coding Skills

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Students learn in various ways \u2014 visualization, auditory, memorizing, or making analogies. Traditional lecturing in engineering courses and the learning styles of engineering students are inharmonious causing students to be

Students learn in various ways \u2014 visualization, auditory, memorizing, or making analogies. Traditional lecturing in engineering courses and the learning styles of engineering students are inharmonious causing students to be at a disadvantage based on their learning style (Felder & Silverman, 1988). My study analyzes the traditional approach to learning coding skills which is unnatural to engineering students with no previous exposure and examining if visual learning enhances introductory computer science education. Visual and text-based learning are evaluated to determine how students learn introductory coding skills and associated problem solving skills. My study was conducted to observe how the two types of learning aid the students in learning how to problem solve as well as how much knowledge can be obtained in a short period of time. The application used for visual learning was Scratch and Repl.it was used for text-based learning. Two exams were made to measure the progress made by each student. The topics covered by the exam were initialization, variable reassignment, output, if statements, if else statements, nested if statements, logical operators, arrays/lists, while loop, type casting, functions, object orientation, and sorting. Analysis of the data collected in the study allow us to observe whether the traditional method of teaching programming or block-based programming is more beneficial and in what topics of introductory computer science concepts.

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  • 2018-05