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Building Systems from Scratch
Computing has been a central tool in the development of modern understanding in many fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Skills such as modeling, data visualization, and computational thinking are all necessary for building a diverse scientific workforce that will secure a strong future for the United States. As a result, NSF's STEM+Computing Partnership (STEM+C) program seeks to integrate the use of computational approaches in K-12 STEM teaching and learning. TERC, Inc., in collaboration with Northeastern University and the cambridge, Newton, and Lowell, Massachusetts Public School Districts, will develop and study an education program that integrates computing into middle school Earth systems science by interweaving computational skills development into science game design and science content learning. The project aims to develop skills among diverse groups of young people in two crucial fields central to national interest and safety.

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Project Contributions

Assessing Computational Thinking in Students' Game Designs
"Designing games requires a complex sequence of planning and executing actions. This paper suggests that game design requires computational thinking, and discusses two methods for analyzing computational thinking in games…
Research on the Development of Computational and Systems Thinking in Middle School Students through Explorations of Complex Earth Systems
from Scratch project is using multiple cycles of design-based research to integrate systems and computational thinking into middle school learning about climate science…