Coding in the Classroom: A Google CS4HS Grant 
The eMINTS National Center at the University of Missouri, University of Colorado Boulder, and Purdue University - Calument Center for Mathematics Teaching & Learning are using funding from the Google CS4HS Grant program to provide a unique approach for combining core area content standards with the new AP Computer Science Course standards. 

Students will tap into their computational thinking skills using AgentCubes software to design simulations in a variety of topics. Science students might create simulations of heat flow or simulate a forest fire while social studies students might simulate the Battle of Appomattox or traffic flow in a city. AgentCubes is a drag and drop system that prevents students the necessity of typing complicated sequences of computer code. Computational Thinking can be acquired by all students when applied in a variety of subject areas. 

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving with Game Design
  • FREE Seven week eLearning4Educators facilitated online course for teachers
  • FREE AgentCubes license
  • Graduate credit available from UMKC or UMSL at a reduced tuition rate
  • Recruiting 100 high school teachers in core academic subjects or computer science
  • Problem-based learning approach
  • Teachers design and code simulations
  • Teachers develop plans to implement scalable game design with their students
How to Participate
Course start dates will be announced in the coming months.  If you are interested in participating, sign up here and we will email you when registration opens.

Course Outline

Session 1 | Orientation: This session is designed to meet three goals 1) familiarize participating teachers with the course format and tools 2) introduce teachers to the online community of practice and begin engaging them with their peers 3) give the facilitator an opportunity to learn more about participating teachers and anticipate how content may need to be adjusted to meet their needs and goals. 

Session 2 | Why Computer Science Education is Essential in the Digital Age: Teachers will form a foundational understanding of how networks function and global impact of computing from speeding up the rate of innovation to fundamentally altering how people interact, work, and play. 

Session 3 | Expanding the Journey + Google Hangout: Teachers will revisit the storytelling game developed in the first course. They will learn about the value of iteration as they work together to make their games more challenging and engaging. 

Session 4 | Models and Simulations for College and Career Readiness: Teachers will examine how models and simulations help to develop college and career skills. They will look through examples of student-created simulations and begin developing a plan for their own students to create simulations. 

Session 5 | Controlling and Analyzing Data + Google Hangout: Teachers will work with the simulation properties and plotting tables to collect data and make a plan for teaching students to incorporate simulation properties and plot collection into simulation design projects. 

Session 6 | Create a Reality: Teachers will choose a classroom topic to use in creating their own simulation. The will share their plans with their peers and provide feedback on the plans created by other teachers. 

Session 7 | Taking it to the Streets +Google Hangout: Teachers will create a cross-curricular unit or lesson plan designed to engage students in simulation development. The unit should combine Computer Science skills and processes with core subject area content.

Community of Practice 
Google Hangouts will be used to establish a professional community of practice for participating teachers. This community of learners will provide advice, support and feedback for teachers on their coding journey. 

Instructional Materials 
Participating teachers receive free AgentCubes software for their classroom. Additional support will be provided through instructional materials that teachers will be able to reuse and adapt when they teach the same concepts to their students. These materials will include YouTube videos, recorded Google Hangouts, quick-reference guides, and sample lesson plans.