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Looking For Help Teaching Computational Thinking?

Do you teach a computer or science course in your high school?

Are you looking for new ideas to support STEM objectives in your school system?

Computational thinking involves learning about a problem and understanding how to break it down into a series of steps, each of which can be well defined and automated. Computation thinking is the key thinking skill of this century, far more important and widely needed than any particular programming language technology or software application. Computational thinking is an approach to problem solving, designing systems, and understanding human behavior that draws on concepts fundamental to computer science. Computational thinking is thinking in terms of abstractions, invariably multiple layers of abstraction at once. Computational thinking is about the automation of these abstractions. The automaton could be an algorithm, a Turing machine, a scientific simulation, a tangible device, a software system—or the human brain.

The workshop is designed with tracks for those with and without programming experience. The 3 day workshop will include presentations on ideas for teaching computation thinking, research in applying computation thinking, academic and professional careers and hands-on experience with lesson modules and software frameworks, all of which you can take back to your classroom.

Workshop components
We’ll provide you with fun, modern, and accessible resources for teaching computational thinking and computer science elements to high school math, science and computer science students. Our program will:

  • Teach you the basics of computational problem solving and give you the vocabulary to relate these concepts to your students and your own subject material.

  • Supply you with lesson modules that you can use in your own science/math classroom.

  • Teach you frameworks that allow students to quickly and easy write software to perform display graphics and perform scientific simulations.

  • Explore opportunities for you to help broaden your students' interest in computer science and dispel myths about what computer science is and is not.

  • Create discussions to explore career paths and encourage participation by women and underrepresented minority students.

  • Expose you to examples of computer science research, operating in conjunction with other disciplines.

  • The workshop is July 12-14th at the Univ. of Maryland in College Park. Funding is available for travel expenses.

We are particularly interested in having both science teachers and computer science teachers attend the workshop; we will have breakout (small group) sessions with separate material for each.


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