Beate Schmittmann (Iowa State University)
K-12 outreach and student recruitment with computational science
The Department of Computer Science at Iowa State University has developed a Computational Thinking Competition. It seeks to introduce K-12 students to problem solving with computational thinking in the context of their current coursework in Iowa schools. Student projects are in the form of computational models that help students to understand a problem, understand all of the requirements for a solution, be able to test their solution, and demonstrate the solution. Prior to the competition, students can sign up for a Computational Thinking Workshop so that they understand what computational thinking is and how they can apply it to a project, either for their regular schoolwork, or for the CTC. Other components of the program are K-12 Teacher Certification Classes and Family/Student Programming Nights.
I will describe the program, its outcomes, and discuss it portability to computational physics programs.