Title: Crystal Code: Examining the Impact of Computational Modeling on Scientific Systems Thinking
Presenter: Thi Cam Ha Nguyen
Poster Advisors: Mark Warschauer & Rossella Santagata
Research Specialization: Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement
Little research has examined students’ systems thinking in integrated computing/science curricula and design features that support this integration. This study contributes through examining the co-design process to introduce systems thinking to sixth graders. The process represents a partnership with a state park, environmental biologists, and a school district. Results from linear mixed models indicated that students who utilized computer modeling to visualize ecosystem dynamics (n = 60) showed a significant increase in systems thinking domains (Evidence and Causal Coherence) in posttests after accounting for pretests, gender, and English learner status, compared to students who did the visualizations on paper (n = 59). Enabling conditions for implementation include iterative co-design among multiple stakeholders, shared pedagogical visions, easy-to-access resources, and flexible adaptation.