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Abstract Title: Identifying important research questions involving computation in physics
Abstract: Integrating computational thinking (CT) into the physics curriculum necessitates both a curricular and pedagogical change. This is because computation became accessible after the development of the majority of physics curricula. CT is synergistic with STEM disciplines so it is important that we utilize that synergy. How CT can be effectively implemented is an open question. My focus is on CT in the physics classroom and what research might be needed to further this mission. To address this, I began with a review of literature on computation in physics classrooms, and computation in STEM as a whole. Implementing computation into physics has followed two main approaches, curricular change or professional development with preservice teachers.  Curricular changes are clearly needed to incorporate CT thinking into science classrooms. A few case studies have explored implementing a computational activity enhanced program to physics students. Further evaluation of the effectiveness of these curricula should precede adoption in other institutions. Professional development for preservice teachers may also increase implementation of CT in their classrooms. These two approaches raise a number of potential questions around computation and computational thinking.  What does effective education for preservice teachers look like and does that education actually follow into the classroom? Which curricula are effective, and can we implement these curricula in other institutions?
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Session Time: Poster Session I
Poster Number: A3

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Justin Gambrell
Drexel University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Eric Brewe