Learning Science through Computational Thinking
Make World is a platform providing tools and methodologies for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths education.
Even though we live in an increasingly technological world, there is a significant decline in scientific vocations, especially in the last decade. Reports provide evidence of the loss of youth interest in STEM courses, especially in women whose presence in the technology sector has dropped from 35% in 1980s to a meager 15% today (Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Education).
Teachers, ICT professionals, publishers and educational consultants agree that digital literacy is important and that it requires skills such as computational thinking, interpersonal communication and teamwork. Teachers and students require new methodologies and tools providing opportunities for communication, co-creation and collectivie assessment in a social environment that leverages the positive reinforcement techniques and personalized assessment of video games (i.e., Gamification, Learning Analytics), story-telling and computational thinking to improve the understanding and assimilation of complex ideas.
Make World's objectives are to:
- analyze the attitudes and skills around STEM of teachers and elementary students.
- design and define a methodology for the teaching and learning of STEM, leveraging the engagement of social and gamified platforms, story-telling, computational thinking, social assessment and personalized learning.
- develop an open, free, open source and expandable platform to promote a symbiotic relationship between STEM learning and computational thinking in the broad sense.
- create content and activities for the platform to facilitate its use with different levels of involvement. This initial repository of materials will be published under free licenses that allow subsequent reuse, even beyond the scope of this project.
- assess the quality and impact of the project, both in terms of attitudes and skills about STEM schools, and the quality of the methodology, platform, and materials developed.
Make World has no fixed challenges, it is extensible and designed with a scaffolding of complexity suitable for early primary grades. In addition, it is not oriented only to learn programming, but other disciplines related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
We will develop a methodology that takes into account the needs of teachers and students and a social platform that offers both a visual programming environment intended for the early primary grades, as authoring tools to define challenges.
These challenges will be editable, scalable and adaptable to the content (i.e., STEM-related) and the degree of complexity. The platform and the initial materials will be created under a gender perspective, trying to provide a co-education approach to all phases of the development. Other innovative aspects of the project are related to the ability to create stories and take advantage story-telling based methodologies that combine dynamically created levels or activities; learning analytics, both coarse (eg, completed stories) and fine-grained (eg, process creation and resolution); or social assessment (eg, valoration and use of stories and activities).
Make World platform
An independent website, integrating different modules for educational resources authoring, and use of resources in the classroom. The platform integrates the base system (including data analytics recording), character editor, world editor and player, story editor and player, media Gallery, social network and a module for data management and data visualization for analytics.
Ready-made educational resources
Educational resources developed, ready to use in classroom. These resources will be designed considering technical and pedagogical issues, translated and localized in English, Basque, Spanish, Polish and Greek.
Guides to use the tool and resources created at different stages of primary education, oriented to teachers and parents.