Development of a Pandemic Awareness STEM Outreach Curriculum: Utilizing a Computational Thinking Taxonomy Framework

Pamela O. Gilchrist, Alonzo B. Alexander, Adrian J. Green, Frieda E. Sanders, Ashley Q. Hooker, David M. Reif
2021 Education Sciences  
Computational thinking is an essential skill in the modern global workforce. The current public health crisis has highlighted the need for students and educators to have a deeper understanding of epidemiology. While existing STEM curricula has addressed these topics in the past, current events present an opportunity for new curricula that can be designed to present epidemiology, the science of public health, as a modern topic for students that embeds the problem-solving and mathematics skills
more » ... athematics skills of computational thinking practices authentically. Using the Computational Thinking Taxonomy within the informal education setting of a STEM outreach program, a curriculum was developed to introduce middle school students to epidemiological concepts while developing their problem-solving skills, a subset of their computational thinking and mathematical thinking practices, in a contextually rich environment. The informal education setting at a Research I Institution provides avenues to connect diverse learners to visually engaging computational thinking and data science curricula to understand emerging teaching and learning approaches. This paper documents the theory and design approach used by researchers and practitioners to create a Pandemic Awareness STEM Curriculum and future implications for teaching and learning computational thinking practices through engaging with data science.
doi:10.3390/educsci11030109 pmid:34824997 pmcid:PMC8612627 fatcat:zqdd4erwezbtngl4cbvklqukku