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Computational Thinking in K-2 Classrooms: Evidence from Student Artifacts (Fundamental)

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college: Blending Computers, Computational Thinking, and Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

22

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28062

Download Count

472

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Paper Authors

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Annwesa Dasgupta Purdue University

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Annwesa Dasgupta is a postdoctoral researcher with the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses on identification and assessment of STEM and computational thinking competencies at the K-2 level.

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Anastasia Marie Rynearson Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2712-8712

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Anastasia Rynearson is an Assistant Professor at Campbell University. She received a PhD from Purdue University in Engineering Education and a B.S. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Her teaching experience includes outreach activities at various age levels as well as a position as Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Kanazawa Technical College and Future Faculty Fellow teaching First-Year Engineering at Purdue University. She focused on integrated STEM curriculum development as part of an NSF STEM+C grant as a Postdoctoral Research Assistant through INSPIRE in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University Her current research interests focus on early P-12 engineering education and identity development.

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Senay Purzer Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0784-6079

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Ṣenay Purzer is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education. She serves on the editorial boards of Science Education and the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education (JPEER). She received a B.S.E with distinction in Engineering in 2009 and a B.S. degree in Physics Education in 1999. Her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are in Science Education from Arizona State University earned in 2002 and 2008, respectively.

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Hoda Ehsan Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3681-317X

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Hoda is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education, Purdue. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering in Iran, and obtained her M.S. in Childhood Education and New York teaching certification from City College of New York (CUNY-CCNY). She is now a graduate research assistant on STEM+C project. Her research interests include designing informal setting for engineering learning, and promoting engineering thinking in differently abled students in informal and formal settings.

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Monica E Cardella Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-4229-6183

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Monica E. Cardella is the Director of the INSPIRE Institute for Pre-College Engineering Education and is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Abstract

Integrated learning through engineering and computational thinking is fundamental in the current era of STEM education. However, articulating evidence of learning in such complex learning environments can be a challenge. This is especially true in elementary grades where developmentally-appropriate practices are not yet fully defined and understood.

The purpose of this research is to explore computational thinking practices in K-2 classrooms during an integrated curriculum. In particular, this study will focus on evidence of and computational thinking found in worksheets completed throughout the curriculum. The primary research question is: How do student artifacts promote computational thinking during an integrated literacy, STEM, and computational thinking curriculum?

Three twelve-lesson integrated units incorporating literacy, STEM, and computational thinking were developed for use in K-2 classrooms, one per grade level. These units have four primary components of note: 1) engineering design as the interdisciplinary glue, 2) realistic engineering contexts to promote student engagement, 3) high-quality literature to facilitate meaningful connections and 4) instruction of specific STEM content within an integrated approach. In addition, the curriculum incorporates computational thinking in developmentally-appropriate ways in each grade level.

The integrated curriculum has been implemented in one Kindergarten classroom in Fall 2016. Student artifacts have been collected, scanned, and de-identified and analyzed for understanding of computational thinking. A priori codes include computational thinking practices as determined from existing frameworks while allowing for inductive coding of unanticipated phenomena.

This paper will provide evidence of how students in Kindergarten engage with computational thinking through analysis of student work.

Dasgupta, A., & Rynearson, A. M., & Purzer, S., & Ehsan, H., & Cardella, M. E. (2017, June), Computational Thinking in K-2 Classrooms: Evidence from Student Artifacts (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28062

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