As computing has become an integral part of the practice of modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM + Computing Partnerships program seeks to address the urgent need to prepare students from the early grades through high school in the essential skills, competencies, and dispositions needed to succeed in a computationally-dependent world. Thus, STEM+C advances the integration of computational thinking and computing activities in early childhood education through high school (pre-K-12) to provide a strong and developmental foundation in computing and computational thinking through the integration of computing in STEM teaching and learning, and/or the applied integration of STEM content in pre-K-12 computer science education.
The STEM+C program seeks to build evidence to inform development of new pedagogical strategies and pedagogical environments for integrating computing and computational thinking in the teaching and learning of pre-K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and/or to integrate science, mathematics, and engineering in the applied teaching and learning of computer science in pre-K-12 education.
To prepare students from early childhood through high school, proposed research and development efforts should address interdisciplinary integration of computing and computational thinking in one or more of the STEM disciplines, with a focus on student learning pre-K-12, and/or professional development of inservice pre-K-12 teachers, and/or pre-service pre-K-12 teacher education, including preparation of teachers to integrate science, mathematics, and engineering in the applied teaching and learning of computer science in pre-K-12 education.
Applied research and development efforts may include, but are not limited to: studies of pedagogy that integrate computational thinking in one or more STEM content areas within grade bands (from pre-school to high school); research on, and development of new pedagogical environments that can better support interdisciplinary integration of computing in STEM learning; development of new technological tools that can more innovatively integrate computing into one or more other STEM disciplines or integrate STEM content into the teaching and learning of computing, and specifically, the use of technologies that go beyond the mere use of computers to teach students about computing concepts by encouraging the integration of computing and computational concepts in disciplinary-specific ways; modification or development of an entirely new curriculum and/or course materials; improvements in teaching and learning that incorporate learning that can transition between school and informal settings; and innovative pre-service teacher education programs and inservice teacher professional development to prepare teachers to integrate computational thinking or computing in their STEM teaching; modification of instructional strategies; and modifications of programs or any curricular activities in or out of school that are synergistic to school-based content acquisition.
The program encourages investigators to consider situating their work in the context of a more comprehensive interdisciplinary approach by integrating computing and computational thinking across an entire STEM curriculum.