Today, all scientists use computational thinking skills and technology to conduct routine tasks, to discover, and to innovate. Students can and must develop these skills before they graduate from high school. Yet few schools provide the solid grounding in computational science that can 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 by developing and testing three new computational science courses. These courses—Computational Biology, Computational Chemistry, and Computational Physics—will be available to all Massachusetts high schools beginning in the 2022-2023 school year.
EDC is carrying out the following activities:
- Develop and test 10 computational science units per course that support students in using, decoding, and modifying computational science models
- Develop and test a blended (i.e., face-to-face and online) teacher professional development model and materials
- Train 75 science teachers in NetLogo and computational science modeling
- Develop a community of practice among Massachusetts computational science teachers
- Conduct research on the impact of computational science courses on students’ state and national assessment scores
- Build broad-based interest and visibility, developing champions for high school computational science courses within the state and national stakeholder communities
- 1,875 students in 75 classrooms across the state will participate in computational science courses by June 2022.
- Seventy-five teachers will be trained in computational modeling by June 2022.
- High schools in over 400 school districts will have the option to offer Computational Biology, Computational Chemistry, and Computational Physics by September 2022.
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Shodor Institute, Education Design