Planting the seeds of Computational Thinking: An introduction to programming suitable for inclusion in STEM curricula

Eric A. Freudenthal, Art Duval, Sarah Hug, Alexandria Nicole Ogrey, Kien H. Lim, Catherine Tabor, Rebeca Q. Gonzalez, Alan Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Inadequate math preparation discourages many capable students - especially those from traditionally underrepresented groups - from pursuing or succeeding in STEM academic programs. iMPaCT is a family of "Media Propelled" courses and course enrichment activities that introduce students to "Computational Thinking." iMPaCT integrates exploration of math and programmed computatio n byengaging students in the design and modification of tiny programs that render raster graphics and simulate familiar kinematics. Through these exercises, students gain experience and confidence with foundational math concepts necessary for success in STEM studies, and an understanding of programmed computation. This paper presents early results from our formal evaluation of semester-length iMPaCT courses indicating improved academic success in concurrently and subsequently attended math courses. They also indicate changes to the nature of student engagement with problem solving using mathematics. This paper also describes iMPaCT-STEM, a nascent effort of computer science and mathematics faculty to distill iMPaCT's pedagogy into sequences of short learning activities designed to teach and reinforce a variety of mathematical and kinematic concepts that can be directly integrated into math and science courses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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