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Classroom Games and Activities that Motivate Exploration of Foundational Understandings of Mathematics Concepts while Inadvertently Scaffolding Computational Thinking and Engineered Design

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Curriculum Exchange II

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

25.315.1 - 25.315.14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--21073

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21073

Download Count

221

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Paper Authors

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Sharie Kranz Coronado High School

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Catherine Tabor El Paso ISD

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Catherine Tabor holds bachelor's degrees in mathematics and physics, and a master's degree in physics education. She is a mathematics educator in El Paso, Texas.

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Art Duval University of Texas, El Paso

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Art Duval is a professor of mathematical sciences at the University of Texas, El Paso.

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Kien H. Lim University of Texas, El Paso

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Kien H. Lim is a mathematics educator at UTEP. His research interests are on students’ problem-solving disposition (impulsive versus analytic) and instructional strategies to advance their ways of thinking (the use of prediction items and classroom voting with clicker technology; the use of mathematical tasks to provoke students’ intellectual need for the concepts they are expected to learn). He is also involved in the iMPaCT-STEM project to investigate the use of programming activities to foster student learning of foundational algebraic concepts.

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Amy Elizabeth Wagler University of Texas, El Paso

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Eric A. Freudenthal University of Texas, El Paso

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Eric Freudenthal is an Associate Professor of computer science at the University of Texas, El Paso.

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Abstract

iMPaCT-STEM: games & activities that motivate exploration of foundational algebra concepts—while inadvertently scaffolding computational thinking and engineered designStudy of quantitative science and engineering requires a conceptual understanding of mathematics.iMPaCT-STEM consists of threaded sequences of games and project-based-learning activities beingdesigned for infusion within conventional high school and college mathematics courses. These activitiesare intended to build these understandings while simultaneously introducing them to programming andengineered design.iMPaCT-STEM is an approximate acronym for Media-Propelled Computational Thinking for STEMClassrooms, which fairly reflects our ambitions – that engagement with graphical programmingchallenges that focus student attention towards exploring mathematics principles and the modeling ofsimple kinematics will propel students towards exploration of science, computational thinking andengineered design.While iMPaCT-STEM is a work-in-progress, there is sufficient teaching material and evidence of itseffectiveness to motivate further efforts to replicate, extend, and more deeply examine its pedagogy. Apilot study during the 2010-2011 academic year indicated dramatic improvements in learning outcomesand student engagement. A remarkable outcome of this pilot study is that one quarter of high schoolstudents attending mathematics classes that included iMPaCT-STEM activities voluntarily elected toattend an elective programming class the next semester – with demographics and gender distributionsapproximating the school population.iMPaCT-STEM’s first substantial dissemination is to Algebra-1 classrooms in two El Paso high schoolsduring the 2011-2012 academic year and will affect the education of approximately one thousandstudents.This paper describes iMPaCT-STEM’s pedagogy project objectives, methods and underlying theory inthe context of an overview of iMPaCT-STEM activities for Algebra-1 classrooms. This paper alsodescribes the project’s evaluation strategy and early results from this dissemination.

Kranz, S., & Tabor, C., & Duval, A., & Lim, K. H., & Wagler, A. E., & Freudenthal, E. A. (2012, June), Classroom Games and Activities that Motivate Exploration of Foundational Understandings of Mathematics Concepts while Inadvertently Scaffolding Computational Thinking and Engineered Design Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21073

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