Below are a number of articles related to the teaching of STEM and computer science.
Article by Little Problem Solvers
We still read, practice writing, and work on Math on a daily basis. But the skill kids really need to develop (that is still lacking in most schools) is how to create solutions to problems that don't even exist yet. That's where Computational Thinking comes in.
Many people describe computational thinking as simple problem solving; but it's a bit more than that. It includes specific strategies for solving problems through decomposition, abstraction, algorithms, and pattern recognition. Computational Thinking involves creating solutions that are powerful and yet simplified enough to be carried out by a computer. Simply put, it's thinking like a computer scientist.
Article by Versari
Put simply, coding – in and of itself – isn’t enough. From a purely entrepreneurial perspective, one could argue that there is no shortage of coders or code. The problem is that a lot of it is pretty useless. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work or the coders were unskilled. It means that it doesn’t actually do anything, solve any problem or address any inefficiencies. Perhaps the problem we have is a shortage of useful code.
This actually talks to a whole different range of skills that existing educational infrastructure equally struggles to produce. These are softer skills – including creativity, perception, analysis and problem solving...
Article by NextGurukul
Computational thinking can be integrated with all subjects, be it the sciences or humanities. For this, instead of approaching a concept or lesson directly, they could be introduced by means of an exercise or a project involving some problem. The following elements of computational thinking shed light on how this could be achieved ..
Should every primary school have BBC Micro:Bits?
Children learn by doing, active engagement with challenges designed to stimulate their curiosity. They learn well when presented with real life problems and have the opportunity to collaborate with others.
If this is the type of classroom you are hoping to foster then the Micro:Bit has a lot to offer.
The Micro:Bit can be physically held by pupils and coded to make things happen when the buttons are pressed. It is exciting and stimulating for pupils.It can be connected to other projects via crocodile leads so design technology mixes with science, computing, art and maths – true STEAM projects such as designing and making musical instruments, creating electronic games and even sending Morse code messages across the classroom become possible.
Within the Buggy options pupils work together to solve real problems that self driving car manufactures are now facing - such as how to detect objects, drive around courses and park. Pupils also learn to control the buggy via remote control - a second Micro:Bit.
ToodleBit takes the Micro:Bit and creates lessons that encourage pupils to learn whilst collaborating with others, to explore and experiment. Resilience is encouraged, to learn that when something does not work, you have actually learnt something new and can try the next step.
So, how would your pupils benefit from a class set of Micro:Bits?
What is the BBC Micro:Bit?
The Micro:Bit is a small, half a credit size, microprocessor – think of it as a small computer but without its own operating system (most laptops and computers are run by Windows, IOS (Apple), Linux or Chrome OS). This means you have to create the code using another device and then copy it across via USB or Bluetooth. The Micro:Bit will then run that one bit of code. The benefits of this approach include being able to run the Micro:Bit from 2 AAA batteries and carry it around.
The Micro:Bit has two buttons that can be programmed to respond to a user’s input, some sensors including a light and heat, a 25 LED screen which can scroll text or show small images. It also includes an accelerometer and compass. Along the bottom are a number of pins which can be used to connect the Micro:Bit to external projects such as electronic games, tools such as an anemometer and buggies.