Integrating Computational Thinking Within STEM Instruction

A New England educational service center received a National Science Foundation STEM + Computing Partnerships grant to integrate newly developed digital computer science learning modules into existing science courses—an intervention named STEM21+CS. This innovative challenge-based learning model is intended to aid in the enhancement of students’ computing competencies and skills.

Hezel Associates has been engaged as a research partner to investigate the approaches and conditions that support the successful integration of computing skills into core science content. Specifically, the Hezel team will examine the impact of STEM21+CS on students’ STEM and computing self-efficacy, STEM and computer science career and education interests, computing competencies, and 21st century inquiry skills. Further, features of STEM21+CS, and integrated professional development components, will be investigated to gauge how these elements engage teachers in the delivery of coursework. Based on insights gleaned from Hezel Associates’ research efforts, program stakeholders will ascertain the promise of producing an effective, replicable instructional model for integrating computing and computational thinking across secondary STEM courses of study.