CTSiM: Computational Thinking using Simulation and Modeling Synergistic Learning of Science and Computational Modeling

Gautam Biswas, Pratim Sengupta, Douglas Clark, John Kinnebrew, Stephen Killingsworth, Kit Martin, Gabor Pap, Satabdi Basu, & Tazrian Rafi

CTSiM provides a scalable architecture for seamlessly weaving together model construction, simulation, experimentation, and verification for learning in multiple science domains, while developing and applying Computational Thinking (CT) skills. The system adopts an agent-based, visual programming platform where students model and learn about science phenomena using discipline-specific constructs. Using this system, a 6th grade science teacher has successfully demonstrated that CT and learning of science can become a regular component of classroom instruction. Through these model building and verification experiences, learners work on a sequence of science units that increase in complexity, with the increases in complexity informed by the challenges of becoming a computational thinker.