1. Roxana Hadad
  2. Director of Math, Science, and Technology
  3. Assessing Computational Thinking in Making Activities
  4. https://actmaproject.wordpress.com/
  5. Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Chicago
  1. Yue Yin
  2. https://education.uic.edu/personnel/faculty/yue-yin-phd
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Assessing Computational Thinking in Making Activities
  5. https://actmaproject.wordpress.com/
  6. University of Illinois at Chicago
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2016 | 06:55 p.m.

    Hi Roxana,

    It’s great to see all the hands-on activities in this video! I am very interested to hear some more about the ways in which you’ve integrated CT with physics. For one of the activities in the video, could you describe both the physics concept and the CT ideas the activity is designed to address, and talk about how you managed that tension? I am working on an integration project as well, and I’d love to gain some insight into how others are accomplishing integration of CT into other disciplines.

    I’m also intrigued when you say that you’ve made adjustments in your activities to be more cognizant of teachers’ priorities. Could you explain what you mean by this? What are teachers asking for that you did not anticipate?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 11:20 a.m.

    Hi Katie!

    The CT integration is definitely a work in progress. We’re doing this research as both forward-design and backwards-design. In other words, trying to work in themes of decomposition, pattern recognition, pattern generalization, abstraction, and algorithm design into the making activities; at the same time, we will observe kids doing the activities and will try to identify where we can amplify the CT skills. Some of these activities are “stepping stones” to CT, but the idea is to keep CT as the end goal.
    As for teacher priorities, initially we were thinking of putting together these long, intensive projects, which would lead to CT, but it’s difficult to translate that into a classroom where a teacher sees the students for 50 minutes at a time. So, probably a lot of shorter more varied projects would be more useful to them.

  • Icon for: Katie Rich

    Katie Rich

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 10:03 a.m.

    Very interesting!

    I’d love to hear additional thoughts from anyone on the benefits and costs of longer, intensive projects versus shorter, more flexible ones. I can definitely see why shorter projects would be more useful, but does shortening the projects make integration harder to achieve?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 12:12 p.m.

    I, too, would like to hear from others on this. We want to be realistic as to what can happen in a classroom, with its shorter periods in the school day and with the responsibilities of addressing a variety of content. However, we don’t want to lose the focus needed to get the learning objectives we want.

  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 07:22 a.m.

    Hi Roxana,
    Thanks for sharing information about your program. I Learned a great deal more about your program. Initially I thought you were working with MS students. Could you describe some of the challenges you met and how they impacted your project plan?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 11:25 a.m.

    Hi Irene!

    Yes, we’re doing this with HS, as they are the ones that have the most contact with physics material. The biggest challenge with the project is keeping all of the plates spinning. To make activities that would work in an informal learning space as well as in a classroom, that incorporates concepts of physics as well as CT, that retains cultural relevance for the students is really, really hard!

  • Icon for: Irene Lee

    Irene Lee

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2016 | 12:01 p.m.

    I applaud you for attempting it! I was also wondering if there were examples of CT, modeling and simulation in Physics that would interest HS students. Have you tried sharing information on the LIGO project or does that seem so far removed from MakerSpaces or classrooms?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 04:17 p.m.

    I had never heard of LIGO before your comment. Cool! But yeah, it might be hard to tie it in with making activities. We were interested in modeling and simulation, but to create a good model, you need understanding of some programming concepts and a language, which few of our students will have, and just using a model (as you know) doesn’t count. In just a two week program, I doubt we’ll be able to develop enough physics learning + programming knowledge to make that happen. But if you have ideas, please let me know!

  • Icon for: Sue Mellon

    Sue Mellon

    Coordinator
    May 17, 2016 | 04:30 p.m.

    Hi Roxana,

    This sounds very interesting! I was wondering about your students for your summer program. Have they been identified? Did you have a process for identifying students?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 17, 2016 | 05:15 p.m.

    Hi Sue,
    The Center for College Access and Success at NEIU has the largest GEAR UP grant in the country, so we are in a lot of high schools in Chicago. As long as the student is a GEAR UP high school student, they can be part of the program. We don’t want to filter for skill level, etc., because we need the spectrum of ability to create a good formative assessment. We are recruiting now.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 18, 2016 | 01:36 p.m.

    To clarify, this is an exploratory project and we’re in the first year. This video is an overview of what we’ve done so far and a little bit of what we plan to do.

  • Icon for: Evan Korth

    Evan Korth

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2016 | 11:41 p.m.

    This is very cool. I do believe we need to introduce CT into traditional subjects. I have always been a fan of Bootstrap and their approach in algebra class. I read that they are also looking to do work in physics courses. Have you spoken to them about their work?

    I also think the approach of exposing students to CT via non-coding exercises differentiates your work.

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 19, 2016 | 12:10 p.m.

    Bootstrap is awesome! I had no idea they were looking into physics. I will contact Emmanuel asap! Thanks so much.

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 19, 2016 | 12:58 p.m.

    Roxana, the video was great, and really captures the hands-on focus of the projects. I am wondering how students get involved: Do you target specific types of students? Do they self-select? How long are they usually involved?

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 12:17 p.m.

    Hi Jill! Great question! The student consultants that are featured in the video had to be in high school, complete an application, and conduct a phone interview. We were interested in their understanding of making, their identities as learners, and their ability to work in a group setting. They’ve met with us 9 times, 3 hours each, over the span of 3 1/2 months, giving input on projects/prompts, testing them out with us, and giving us feedback on what engages them. They have, on occasion, had homework, writing about appropriate activities and blogging about our project.

  • Icon for: Jill Denner

    Jill Denner

    Senior Research Scientist
    May 20, 2016 | 02:14 p.m.

    Thanks Roxana. You are probably collecting information about why they chose to participate, right? Really interesting work!

  • Icon for: Roxana Hadad

    Roxana Hadad

    Presenter
    May 20, 2016 | 04:36 p.m.

    We have! The answers run the gamut from wanting to improve CS/physics education, to liking makerspaces and hands-on activities, to wanting more experience working with a variety of people.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.