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Abstract Title: Creating a computational playground in high school physics
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation
Abstract: The competencies required of physics-oriented STEM professionals are rapidly evolving to include computational practices (the use of computers to study physical systems). Developing these practices in students requires sustained learning experiences, and high school students benefit from encountering this domain at an appropriate level. However, many high school physics teachers have had limited (if any) exposure to computation, let alone practice with integrating it in a high school-appropriate manner. Our interdisciplinary team of university STEM educators designed and facilitated two semesters of an online professional development sequence for high school teachers. This sequence included asynchronous modules and monthly remote meetings centered around teachers reflecting on their experiences as learners and adaptations to these modules for delivery in their classrooms. At the end of spring 2022, we conducted semi-structured interviews to explore the teachers' experiences and plans for implementation. When analyzing the transcripts from the remote meetings and interviews, we attended to how the teachers operated within two frames. Their learner frame focuses on what the teacher is learning about computation, what piques their own curiosity and interest, and what they feel they can accomplish. Their mediator frame focuses on what they believe their students could reasonably accomplish with computation, what their students are curious about, and how they can use computation to develop their ideal classroom environment. Our analysis highlights teachers' enthusiasm about how computation can contribute to the playful, creative environment that they value in their classrooms. They also saw curiosity as a necessity for productive computational integration and that computation could engage students' curiosity in new ways. We offer implications for future iterations of professional development to emphasize computation's potential to inspire curiosity in all students.
Session Time: Poster Session 3
Poster Number: III-8
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: W. Brian Lane
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL 32225
Phone: 9045158098
and Co-Presenter(s)
Terrie M. Galanti, University of North Florida
Abby Pruett, University of North Florida
Julia Whitley, University of North Florida
Forouzan Faridian, Santa Monica College

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster