I completed my photosynthesis world today! It took a lot longer than I had anticipated, but I feel accomplished. It was difficult and I hope to simplify my code next week since I have a lot of If/Else statements in it. Additionally, I feel like I need an ending to my world, and I’m working on a summary of concepts reviewed in the tutorial that I created.
I hope to work on some other worlds next week that I have brainstormed and also start working on the video tutorials that Professor Rodger asked us to make for the tutorials that have already been created.
Here is a screenshot of the beginning of my world:
Today I started creating my own world on Alice. I first started out by looking at more of the example worlds. Then I brainstormed some ideas based on the education standards of NC. I listed several ideas that I wanted to work with – involving both math and science topics. I decided to create a demo about photosynthesis and if I have more time, I’ll include an additional demo on cellular respiration. Then, I started playing around with Alice and creating my demo. It takes much longer than what I had imagined! In the demo, the users will click on the reactants and products to help them memorize the formula better.
I also had an idea about related rates, and having students being able to reduce rates to unit rates. As the kids get the answers right, the runner gets closer to the finish line. I might work on this world when I’m done with the current one.
I finished up writing the summary for Liz Liang’s thesis and also read another article about using storytelling to help motivate students that Randy Pausch and Caitlin Kelleher wrote. I found this article through searching on ACM Digital Library’s website, which Professor Rodger suggested. It was an interesting article on how effective storytelling has been with girls and getting them to study CS.
Additionally I looked at middle school math requirements and started brainstorming some tutorials that I could create with Alice. I flipped through the textbooks that Professor Rodger gave us on middle school math. I’m still trying to figure out how math can be incorporated with computing without just creating worlds that students can use to practice math concepts. However, I did come up with an idea related to science. With Alice, we could simulate how photosynthesis and cellular respiration works, so students can better visualize these processes.
I plan to look around some more to further progress with this project.
Today I worked on the Harry Potter Challenge and found some changes that we could make to the instructions. I enjoyed working on the challenge a lot, and I thought that the way that they incorporated some of the mathematical concepts into the project were very unique and interesting. Additionally, I looked at some of the Example worlds that have been created in the past to see what other people have done.
Professor Susan Rodger took the team out to lunch and afterwards, I looked at some articles. I read Liz Liang’s CSURF thesis and I am working on writing up the summary for it. I hope to read some other papers later this week to see what other people outside of Duke are doing to help incorporate computing into K-12 education.