Constructor Lab
Leadership Summit
Edtech Advocacy &
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Search & Rescue Mission: Interdisciplinary STEM project

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Lecture

Tuesday, June 25, 4:15–5:15 pm
Location: 119AB

James Arleth   Wesley Hsu   Kristen Koeblin   Simon Lau   Eduardo Mejia-Saloma   Ismail Sadit   Heidi Williams   Michael Williams  
Learn about the Franklin Learning Center's authentic, problem-based challenge that engaged students in STEM careers. Students will demonstrate how they used indoor classroom drones to design a search-and-rescue mission that utilized computational thinking and computer science to put NextGen Science Standards into action.

Audience: Coaches, Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: None
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project-, problem- and challenge-based learning
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Students:
Computational Thinker
  • Students break problems into component parts, extract key information, and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.
  • Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.
For Educators:
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
Additional detail: Student presentation, ISTE author presentation
Related exhibitors: Robolink

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective


* Teachers will understand how computer science can be used as a foundation to teach (or reinforce) other subject areas to inspire the participants to be innovative designers.

* Teachers will understand the importance of computational thinking and how the decomposition of a problem and the analysis of data to improve algorithmic thinking (abstraction) can help students understand complex systems (Newton's Laws) in action.

*Teachers will be able to apply strategies that intentionally encourage students (specifically targeting female and minorities) to pursue interests in STEM related careers. These resources are currently being developed by NCWIT.

Educational or infrastructure challenge/situation.
*Finding the time for the important task of collaborating on curriculum content among teachers.

Technology intervention. Include specific names/titles and descriptions if tools are not widely known and available.
*CoDrones by Robolink

Models employed. Include a brief description.
*Constructivist model of learning
*Computational Thinking (Decomposition, Pattern Recognition, Algorithm Design, and Abstraction)

Lesson plans or instructional activities/strategies employed.

*All lesson plans and strategies will be listed on our URL link previously provided. This page will include:

**Pre/Post assessment on computational thinking and content standards.

*Formative assessment - checkpoints

*Teacher lesson plans & student resources (differentiated graphic organizers, data collection tools, rubrics, etc...)

Evidence of success.
*Data on student computational thinking skills (growth of), as well as growth on state content standards, will be included in the presentation.



Introductions by Heidi Williams (5 minutes)

Design Thinking by James Arleth - Teacher from Franklin Learning (15 min) *Discuss the design and journey of the curriculum.

Computational Thinkers - students from Franklin Learning (15 min) *Discuss how they decomposed their problem, analyzed their data, and made improvements to successfully complete their mission. They will also discuss what they learned about Newton's Laws.

Demo - flying of CoDrones with Audience participation by Wes Hsu (15 min) *Selected participants will fly the Rescue Mission designed by the students.

Q&A - facilitated by Heidi Williams (10-15 min) done while a few more participants are flying the CoDrones.

Supporting research

*Computational Thinking in K–12: A Review of the State of the Field - Shuchi Grover, Roy Pea, 2013

*Finding a Home for CS Ed in Schools of Ed: Priming the CS Teacher Pump Report Released: funded by NSF grant number 1636881
**Leigh Ann Delyser, CSforALL
**Joanna Goode, University of Oregon
**Mark Guzdial, Georgia Institute of Technology
**Yasmin Kafai, University of Pennsylvania
**Aman Yadav, Michigan State University

**Creative Coding: Lessons and Strategies to Integrate Computer Science Across the 6-8 Curriculum: Caldwell
**Computational Thinking and Coding for Every Student: The Teacher’s Getting-Started Guide: Krauss & Prottsman


More [+]


James Arleth, Franklin Learning Center
Wesley Hsu, Robolink
Kristen Koeblin, Robolink, Inc.
Heidi Williams, Marquette University

Heidi Williams is a passionate coding and computational thinking advocate. She has over 25 years of experience in education including 17 years as a 6-8th grade teacher, 6 years as an instructional and technology coach, and 5 years as a K-8 administrator. Williams has shared her passion for integrating coding into the curriculum at local, state, regional and national conferences, and many have leveraged her expertise for conference presentations, professional development and curriculum alignment. She currently works part-time at Marquette University as a Computer Science Curriculum Specialist. Visit: for a wealth of resources.

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