- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1339853
- First Name Andrea
- Last Name Burrows
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Math, Physics
Astrid Northrup, Northwest Community College, firstname.lastname@example.org;Tim Slater, University of Wyoming, email@example.com; Danny Dale, University of Wyoming, firstname.lastname@example.org; Farhad Jafari, University of Wyoming, FJafari@uwyo.edu;
Andrea C. Burrows; University of Wyoming; Andrea.Burrows@uwyo.edu; Mike Borowczak, University of Wyoming, Mike.Borowczak@uwyo.edu
The SWARMS scholars have been a part of the computer science movement in Wyoming since 2014. Computer science is important in both mathematics and science as it provides a vehicle for exploring both subjects. With the newly passed Wyoming Computer Science Standards, all classrooms are expected to embrace computer science components by the 2020-2021 school year. A PD – focused on computer science – was the basis of this work.
The guiding questions for this work include: A) How do mathematics and science teachers utilize computer science in their content classes, and B) How many and to what extent do mathematics and science teachers who are exposed to computer science PD use the information in their content courses?
SWARMS embraces a sociocultural framework. The leadership team collected data from mathematics and science teachers (n=40) after a 2-week summer, followed by an academic year of support. The self-reports from the teachers focused on computer science use in the classroom.
The SWARMS leadership found that roughly 30% of the mathematics and science teachers used computer science as a vehicle to teach math and science during the school year. The differences in the way that computer science was used is explored in K-12 settings. Further research with this data set on what was used and not used in relation to computer science is still ongoing.
Encouraging STEM teachers to use computer science in content classrooms could prove beneficial to providing a base for extended disciplinary studies. Pre-service SWARMS teachers are already learning about computer science in methods courses, but only 30% are utilizing the information. The leadership team would like to explore how to increase the number of teachers using computer science as well as the way in which it is used.