Today, all scientists use computational thinking skills and technology to conduct routine tasks, to discover, and to innovate. Students can develop these skills before they graduate from high school. Yet schools often don’t provide the solid grounding in computational science that prepare students for successful careers in high-tech scientific enterprises.
In the Science+C project, EDC is collaborating with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to create an alternate pathway to college and science careers for high school students. The project is developing and testing computational units integrated into three core high school science courses: Computational Biology (Biology+C), Computational Chemistry (Chemistry+C), and Computational Physics (Physics+C). These units have now been made available for use by all high schools within and beyond Massachusetts.
The team is carrying out and has completed the following activities:
- Building broad-based interest and visibility, developing champions for high school computational science courses within the state and national stakeholder communities
- Expanding Science+C to additional districts and states
- Developed, researched, and evaluated 14 computational science units over the three courses that support students in using, decoding, and modifying computational science models
- Developed, researched, and evaluated a blended (i.e., face-to-face and online) teacher professional development model
- Trained 40 science teachers in NetLogo and computational science modeling.
- Developed a community of practice among Massachusetts computational science teachers
- Conducted research on the impact of computational science courses on students’ state and national assessment scores
- An estimated 40 teachers will be trained in computational modeling by June 2024.
- An estimated 1,425 students in 59 classrooms across the state will participate in computational science courses by June 2024.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shodor Institute, Education Design