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From 2009 to 2012 our Computer Science program received funding for a $168,000 National Science Foundation Grant that focused on Computational Thinking. Following is a description of the work we accomplished:

Through our NSF CPATH planning project titled Cultural Shift: Bringing the JOY (Joint Organization to inspire Young people) back to computation, Marietta College explored effective means of introducing and/or revitalizing computational thinking across disciplines on its campus and among teachers and students in the surrounding K-12 educational community. Led by faculty in computer science, computer information systems, management information systems and mathematics, our project is created a cultural shift among faculty in multiple areas of study.

The broader impact of this CPATH planning project was evident in three elements: campus-wide involvement, community outreach, and piloting threads of Computational Thinking in non-computer courses among faculty at Marietta College and among math teachers in the K-12 educational community; revision of two key computer courses to create a stronger alignment with computational thinking for first-year computer students; and increased excitement about an awareness of the uses for computational thinking among K-12 youth.

Project evaluation included: pre and post participant surveys and enrollment data analysis.

Project results included the following highlights:

  • 24 Middle School and 26 High School Students Participated in our 2 Adventures in Programming and Computational Thinking camps
  • 36 Faculty attended our Faculty Forum presentation on Computational Thinking
  • 30 Ohio public school Math teachers participated in our seminars which incorporated Alice and Computational Thinking
  • 3 presentations were made to Marietta College faculty from outside speakers that used Computational Thinking in their work
  • Results showed an increase in the percentage of students taking CS2 after taking a modified CS1 course

For further information, please contact Robert Van Camp, PI.