## MSP News: Computational Thinking

July 12, 2018

*NEWS IN BRIEF*

**Project Showcase**

*This week we feature new work from the Comp Hydro STEM+C Project*.

**1. Conference Paper: "Student Ideas About Computational Thinking Concepts When Learning About Modeling Hydrologic Systems," ** Kristin L. Gunckel, Judith A. Cooper, Daniel L. Moreno, Beth A. Covitt, Garrett Love, Randall Boone, Alan Berkowitz, John C. Moore, NARST, March 2018.

**2. Video: "Comp Hydro - Engaging Students in Using Computational Thinking," ** Kristin L. Gunckel, Alan Berkowitz, Randall Boone, Bess Caplan, Beth A. Covitt, and, John C. Moore, STEM for All Video Showcase, May 2018.

**New MSP Paper**

**1. "A New Perspective on Computational Thinking," ** Osman Yasar, SCOLLARCITY MSP, Communications of ACM, July 1, 2018.

**New in Library**

**1. "Computational Thinking for a Computational World," ** Digital Promise, December 2017.

**2. "Cultivating Computational Thinking Practices and Mathematical Habits of Mind in Lattice Land," ** Christina (Yu) Pei, David Weintrop, Uri Wilensky, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 2018.

**3. "Computational Thinking For Teacher Education," ** Aman Yadav, Chris Stephenson, Hai Hong, Communications of the ACM, April 2017.

*DETAILS BELOW*

**Project Showcase**

*This week we feature new work from the Comp Hydro STEM+C Project*.

**1. Conference Paper: "Student Ideas About Computational Thinking Concepts When Learning About Modeling Hydrologic Systems," ** Kristin L. Gunckel, Judith A. Cooper, Daniel L. Moreno, Beth A. Covitt, Garrett Love, Randall Boone, Alan Berkowitz, John C. Moore, NARST, March 2018.

"Integrating computational thinking into science instruction is a relatively new focus in science education. Computational thinking is listed in the *Framework for K-12 Science Education* (National Research Council, 2012) and the *Next Generation Science Standards* (NGSS Lead States, 2013) as one of the eight scientific practices that students should participate in while learning science. Yet, defining what computational thinking is, identifying what students should learn about it, providing examples of what it looks like in a science curriculum, and understanding how students think about and engage in computational thinking practices are all new territory. In this paper we lay out our framework for integrating computational thinking into instruction about water in environmental systems and present some data on student ideas about computational thinking concepts."

MSPnet Location: **Library >> STEM+C Papers **

http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33542

**2. Video: "Comp Hydro - Engaging Students in Using Computational Thinking," ** Kristin L. Gunckel, Alan Berkowitz, Randall Boone, Bess Caplan, Beth A. Covitt, and, John C. Moore, STEM for All Video Showcase, May 2018.

"Groundwater contamination, urban flooding, and balancing competing interests for water are examples of complex water problems facing many communities. Preparing an environmentally literate public who can engage in problem-solving around these issues requires supporting students in learning to use and interpret computer models of water flow through systems. Comp Hydro is an innovative high school curriculum project that uses a variety of physical models, maps, and computer models to help students understand principles of water flow, data interpretation, and computational thinking. We have four curriculum units, each contextualized within a water problem of concern to the local community. In each unit, students use physical models to understand principles of water flow through watersheds or aquifers. Students interpret maps of these systems, making connections between three-dimensional models and two-dimensional representations. Throughout each unit, students use specially-designed Net Logo models to learn computational thinking practices such as defining systems, identifying parameters, and discretizing time and space. Lessons that put students in a physical simulation of the discretized space of the computer model help them to “think like a computer” to simulate how computers model water pathways. Students then interpret representations of contamination plumes or runoff and model potential solutions to problems. Our goal is for students to use hydrologic concepts to interpret complex representations of data and use computational thinking to analyze and critique representations and models. We hope that students will then be able to use these practices to participate in community problem-solving around the water issues that affect them most."

**New MSP Paper**

**1. "A New Perspective on Computational Thinking," ** Osman Yasar, Communications of ACM, July 1, 2018.

This article introduces a new perspective on computational thinking, including its definition, cognitive essence, and curricular issues

MSPnet Location: **Library >> MSP Papers **

http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33537

**New in Library**

**1. "Computational Thinking for a Computational World," ** Digital Promise, December 2017.

"Computers, smartphones, smart systems, and other technologies are woven into nearly every aspect of our daily lives. As computational technology advances, it is imperative that we educate young people and working adults to thrive in a computational world. In this context, the essential question for American education is: In a computational world, what is important to know and know how to do? This paper argues that computational thinking is both central to computer science and widely applicable throughout education and the workforce. It is a skillset for solving complex problems, a way to learn topics in any discipline, and a necessity for fully participating in a computational world. The paper concludes with recommendations for integrating computational thinking across K-12 curriculum."

MSPnet Location: **Library >> Ed Change & Policy **

http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33538

**2. "Cultivating Computational Thinking Practices and Mathematical Habits of Mind in Lattice Land," ** Christina (Yu) Pei, David Weintrop, Uri Wilensky, Mathematical Thinking and Learning, 2018.

"There is a great deal of overlap between the set of practices collected under the term 'computational thinking' and the mathematical habits of mind that are the focus of much mathematics instruction. Despite this overlap, the links between these two desirable educational outcomes are rarely made explicit, either in classrooms or in the literature. This paper presents Lattice Land, a computational learning environment and accompanying curriculum designed to support the development of mathematical habits of mind and promote computational thinking practices in high-school mathematics classrooms. Lattice Land is a mathematical microworld where learners explore geometrical concepts by manipulating polygons drawn with discrete points on a plane. Using data from an implementation in a low-income, urban public high school, we show how the design of Lattice Land provides an opportunity for learners to use computational thinking practices and develop mathematical habits of mind, including tinkering, experimentation, pattern recognition, and formalizing hypothesis in conventional mathematical notation. We present Lattice Land as a restructuration of geometry, showing how this new and novel representational approach facilitates learners in developing computational thinking and mathematical habits of mind. The paper concludes with a discussion of the interplay between computational thinking and mathematical habits of mind, and how the thoughtful design of computational learning environments can support meaningful learning at the intersection of these disciplines."

MSPnet Location: **Library >> Teaching and Learning **

http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33539

**3. "Computational Thinking For Teacher Education," ** Aman Yadav, Chris Stephenson, Hai Hong, Communications of the ACM, April 2017.

"This article emphasizes the importance of embedding computational thinking curricula in teacher education and provides recommendations for how teacher educators might be able to do it. For this effort to succeed, however, computer science and education faculty must work collaboratively, as both groups bring complementary expertise in computing and teacher development."

MSPnet Location: **Library >> Professional Development **

http://hub.mspnet.org/index.cfm/33540