Engaging Preschoolers in Data Collection and Analysis to Promote Computational Thinking
2019 to 2022

Over the next three years, this NSF-funded project will create and test problem-solving activities for preK students (4-5-year-olds) that integrate mathematics and computational thinking (CT) by engaging children in data collection and analysis investigations. Using hands-on materials and a digital tool that collects data and creates visual data displays, the team will target specific math skills that are naturally engaging for young children (e.g., counting and categorizing), and provide a foundation for later mathematics competencies. Ultimately, this project will set the stage for children who are underrepresented in STEM to succeed in mathematics and computational thinking tasks in elementary school and beyond.

This project will develop a set of 9 hands-on, play-based, real world learning investigations with a digital tool that enhances participating students’ and teachers’ technology fluency; assessments to improve and measure preschoolers' mathematical and computational thinking; and a learning blueprint and conjecture map that articulate what children can and should learn, and the mechanisms by which they engage in that learning.