The Center for Discrete Mathematics and Theoretical Computer Science and the University of Connecticut Neag School of Education will develop a comprehensive online professional development program for high school science and mathematics teachers. The program model will be designed for teachers to integrate computational thinking into their science and mathematics practice. The research will study how and under what conditions integrated science, mathematics, and computational approaches will effectively develop teachers' understanding of computational thinking; improve teachers' instructional practice; and will transfer computational thinking concepts to their math and science students. As a result of the project, teachers will be able to enhance student learning in science and mathematics using computation to develop their own models, algorithms, and tools to analyze real-world data and associated problems. Teachers will engage in this online professional development model from across the country, with research results and educational materials shared online, through publications and education journals, and professional science and mathematics education conferences. This project was submitted in response to the NSF Dear Colleague Letter DRK12 Advancing STEM + Computing (17-149) and is supported by the STEM + Computing Program that advances research and development of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to the integration of computing within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning for preK-12 students in both formal and informal settings. STEM+C supports research on how students learn to think computationally to solve interdisciplinary problems in the STEM fields.The research and development will combine an online teacher professional development program with research that investigates how well teachers learn computational thinking in an online setting and how and under what conditions they transfer the computational thinking concepts to students in their math or science classes. The research will result in a well-designed model for an online, scalable teacher professional development for the integration of computational thinking in science and mathematics education and how teachers gain content knowledge and pedagogical skills. Project results will include a cadre of teachers who understand how to engage students in computational thinking concepts within the traditional HS science and mathematics curriculum and who are able to use computational approaches within the science and mathematics disciplines with their students to solve disciplinary problems. Research results and professional development materials will be available for use by teacher educators, professional developers, and others developing HS programs in computational thinking.This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
Algorithmic Software; Award; computational reasoning; computer science; Connecticut; Country; Data; design; Development; Discipline; Discrete Mathematics; Education; Educational Materials; Educational process of instructing; Evaluation; Foundations; High School Faculty; high school program; improved; Journals; Knowledge; Learning; Letters; Mathematical Computing; mathematical sciences; Mathematics; Mathematics Curriculum; Mission; model design; model development; Modeling; Names; pedagogy; Program Development; programs; Publications; Research; research and development; Research Support; response; Schools; Science; science teacher; Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics; skills; STEM field; Students; symposium; teacher; Teacher Professional Development; Teaching Method; Universities