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Children’s Engineering and Computational Thinking

, Institute for Teaching through Technology & Innovative Practices Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium (SVRTC), United States ; , Santa Fe Institute, United States ; , University of Virginia, United States ; , University of Colorado--Boulder, United States

Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-84-6 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Both Engineering and Computational Thinking are recognized as keys to economic success in our global knowledge society. How soon should these be introduced in schools? The Fab@School initiative provides elementary students with hands-on engineering experiences at the elementary level. Computer scientists believe that “computational thinking” should be introduced to students at young ages and cultivated in the K-12 system. What are the impacts of these two “workforce” skill sets on K-12? What do they look like in action in the classroom? This session presents these issues and provides examples drawn from NSF’s ITEST (Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers) program and from recent Engineering projects such as the Fab@School initiative. The intersection of “engineering” thinking and “computational” thinking will be discussed.


Talaiver, M., Lee, I., Bull, G. & Repenning, A. (2011). Children’s Engineering and Computational Thinking. In M. Koehler & P. Mishra (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2011--Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 58-61). Nashville, Tennessee, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved February 3, 2023 from .


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