First-graders' computational thinking in informal learning settings (work in progress) Conference

Ehsan, H, Fagundes, B, Moore, TJ et al. (2020). First-graders' computational thinking in informal learning settings (work in progress) . 2020-June

cited authors

  • Ehsan, H; Fagundes, B; Moore, TJ; Tank, KM; Cardella, ME


  • Recently computational thinking has emerged as a fundamental skill for pre-college students. One way of integrating this new skill into the curriculum is through integrated STEM education. The importance of STEM education as a driving force for economic stability and growth is unquestionable and has been a catalyst for change across the globe in recent years. Given the growth of technology and digital computers in the 21stcentury and the demands for professionals and engineers with computer science and problem-solving skills, computational thinking (CT) has gained attention in pre-college STEM education. Furthermore, Wing's influential 2006 article made the case that CT should be a skill that all students, including pre-college and non-computer science majors, should learn [1]. However, if CT is something that all students should learn then, as noted in [2], to be useful a definition must ultimately be coupled with examples that demonstrate how computational thinking can be incorporated in the classroom (p. 50). Therefore, in this study, we aim to characterize the computational thinking of first-grade students while participating in a field-trip with activities that integrate CT into engineering tasks. The research question for our work-in-progress study is: What does children's engagement in computational thinking competencies look like when solving different engineering and computing problems?

publication date

  • June 22, 2020


  • 2020-June