Applied Computational Thinking Through Physical Computing and Flowchart Programming
Location: Room 007AB
Preregistration and additional fee required.
Registration code: WH114
Fee: $113 (After May 1, $123)
[Explore and create : Workshop]
Sunday, June 25, 8:30–11:30 am
Location: Room 007AB
Dr. Michael Flynn Susan Flynn Brad Harriger Alka Harriger
This workshop will focus on programming an industrial controller to support computational thinking development in grades 6-12. This controller has been used by the presenters to implement both an NSF-funded STEM middle school program and a national STEM automation contest to approximately 100 schools nationwide.
|Fee:||$113 (After May 1, $123)|
|Attendee devices:||Devices required|
|Attendee device specification:||Laptop: PC
|Participant accounts, software and other materials:||Nanonavigator 4.4.1 English only version - Free download at http://select.phoenixcontact.com/phoenix/dwl/dwlfr1.jsp?fct=relo3&lang=en&UID=2701221&prodid=2701221
We will bring the software on flash drives for anyone who was unable to get the download before the session.
|Focus:||Digital age teaching & learning|
|Topic:||Programming and robotics|
|ISTE Standards:||Students : Empowered learner
Students : Innovative designer
Students : Computational thinker
Purpose: Show attendees how physical computing can increase students' interest in and understanding of computational thinking. The application context will be physical fitness.
1. Educate attendees on how to get started using a freely-downloadable flowcharting tool that can help students develop and hone their critical thinking skills.
2. Show attendees how to test and debug their programs using the built-in simulator.
3. Show attendees how to download their flowchart programs to a microcontroller (to which are wired lights and sensors) and watch the running program on the hardware system.
4. Inform attendees about a free competition for middle/high school students that provides a hardware toolkit at no cost to the students/teachers/school. (The toolkit includes a microcontroller that can run the flowchart programs).
5. Share examples of past, student-developed projects.
Technology intervention: Both the controller and programming tool are available from Phoenix Contact: NanoNavigator (flowchart programming tool), Nanoline controller.
6. Demonstrate the use of periodic (fitness) brain blasts to keep minds active, increase retention, and provide ideas for exergame innovations.
Evidence of success: Some publications based on this work are identified on the NSF abstract listing: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1312215
1. (10 minutes) Introduce the tools and provide links for later download
2. (15 minutes) Review basic control blocks and purposes
3. (15 minutes) Define a problem as a group
a. Discuss physical system’s needs
b. Identify inputs, outputs, other data stores
4. (25 minutes) Talk through logic, writing outline of steps
5. (40 minutes) Create program (see notes from steps 3 & 4)
a. Edit data items
b. Display messages
c. Flowchart logic from step 4
i. Purposely include “bug”
6. (10 minutes) Test flowchart program using simulator
a. Understand how fast the program is being scanned by the processor
b. Watch flow of control via visual color changes in the flowchart
c. Watch data items change values during program execution
d. Discuss bug fix
7. (10 minutes) Repeat from step 3 as needed until program works as planned
8. (5 minutes) Download program to controller
9. (5 minutes) Run program on controller
10. (35 minutes) Discuss program enhancement options
a. Repeat from step 3
11. (5 minutes) Discuss consequences when programmers or builders (of physical system) make changes without informing the other
a. Change program vs rewire physical system
12. (5 minutes) Discuss opportunities to get more education and/or technology
a. NSF project
b. Nanoline contest
(Brief fitness activity examples will be interspersed as needed in the above.)
Flowcharts allow for high-level views of abstraction and help to organize logical thoughts (Pientka, B. (2013, March). Computational Thinking: What is the science in computer science? Women in Science Day, Dawson College. Montreal, Canada. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from
Physical computing provides opportunities for tangible and creative learning (Przybylla, M., & Romeike, R. (2014). Physical Computing in Computer Science Education. Proceedings
of the 9th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education (pp. 136-137). Berlin,
Germany: ACM. doi:10.1145/2670757.2670782)
TECHFIT testimonials and program evaluations reveal that using a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to teach CT within a fun and socially relevant context increases youth interest in computing and engineering (Harriger, A. R. (2016, March 7). TECHFIT Testimonials. Retrieved March 23, 2016, from TECHFIT:
http://techfit.tech.purdue.edu/TECHFITFeedback.aspx; Li, W. (2016). TECHFIT Project: Summary of Student Evaluation Findings.West Lafayette, IN: Purdue Discovery Learning Research Center.)
Fitness activities support physically active learning (Merritt, G. E. (2011, May 11). 'Physically Active Learning' In Class Improves Test Scores, Sharpens Concentration. Retrieved March 27, 2016, from http://articles.courant.com/2011-05-15/health/hcexercise-in-classroom-0516-20110515_1_portland-high-school-health-class-classroom).
Technology-charged starts herelearning
June 25-28, 2017
© 2017 International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), All Rights Reserved