Integrating CS into Science Storylines
Science teachers at Lindblom Math and Science Academy in Chicago Public Schools have worked with Northwestern University’s CT-STEM department to develop computational thinking in science units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. The goal is for students to understand and apply computational thinking practices in their science classrooms to help make sense of phenomena or problems, analyze data, use models and develop explanations. Units, built by teachers, are designed to cover core science concepts in physics, chemistry, and biology. This program allows teachers to work with CT-STEM members to develop new simulations or other CT activities that work best in the unit. This was developed based on teacher need, when simulations didn’t exist to address the big ideas. Integration of NetLogo models, SageModeler, NetTango, and other data analysis activities are used to help students make real world connections. These tools allow students to learn and apply basic computer science ideas and skills as well as the 3-D of NGSS. Developed unit topics include: stoichiometry, climate change, gas laws, and energy. These units are available for public use and can be easily modified on the CT-STEM platform for teachers to use.
Takeaways: Overview of how teachers integrated Computational Thinking into science units and how to access units for Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Earth Science
Carole Namowicz (Lindblom Math and Science Academy: Chicago, IL), Lauren Levites (Lindblom Math and Science Academy: Chicago, IL)