For Researchers

In December 2018, the Friday Institute and Reedy Creek Magnet Middle Middle School Center for the Digital Sciences (RCMMS) became formally connected through a National Science Foundation grant titled EcoCS: Developing a Systemic, Scalable Model to Broaden Participation in Middle School Computer Science Using an RPP Approach, which focuses on deepening the school culture of computational thinking. Project goals include: 

  • Providing equitable access to underrepresented students in computing
  • Preparing middle school students for computing curriculum in high school
  • Developing and testing effective computer science (CS)/computational thinking (CT) modules that will integrate into existing math and science curriculum
  • Investigating CS/CT-focused barriers and supports
  • Sharing RPP findings and replicating the process at other schools

The RCMMS/Friday Institute RPP research is grounded by four questions: 

  1. What are the barriers to developing a STEM ecosystem that supports CS/CT for every student through integration into middle school science and mathematics courses?
  2. What factors or interventions are needed to support the development of a CS/CT focused STEM ecosystem that supports everyone in a school?
  3. What are the indicators of success for a CS/CT focused STEM ecosystem in a school?
  4. How does the ecosystem prepare and engage all students, especially those from underrepresented student groups, for CS/CT work in high school?

As an early-stage RPP, no findings are available at this time. Learn more about the grant here.

The RCMMS/FI RPP is a member of the National Network of Education Research Practice Partnerships (NNERPP), a professional learning community that provides resources to enhance the productivity of RPPs in education, and was featured in the 2019 Year in Review NNERPP Report.

Why this study?

“We are really interested in how we create the conditions that allow all students to thrive and find success in CS/CT activities in their school.” – Eric Wiebe, Ph.D., Professor in STEM Education at the NC State College of Education and Friday Institute Senior Faculty Fellow

For more information about this research study, please contact the principal investigator, Eric N. Wiebe, Ph.D., at eric_wiebe@ncsu.edu.

Presentations and Publications

Boulden, D., Edwards, C., Cateté, V., Lytle, N., Frye, D., Barnes, T., & Wiebe, E. N. (2020, March). Creating a school-wide CS/CT-focused STEM ecosystem to address access barriers. Poster presented at the 4rd international conference on Research on Equity & Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, & Technology (RESPECT), Portland, Oregon.

Lytle, N., Cateté, V., Isvik, A., Boulden, D., Dong, Y., Wiebe, E., & Barnes, T. (2019). From ‘use’ to ‘choose’: Scaffolding computational thinking curricula and exploring student choices while programming. Proceedings of the 14th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Glasgow, Scotland.

Sachs, C. (2019, October). EcoCS Research-Practice Partnership at Reedy Creek Magnet Middle School. Presentation at Wake County Public School System Magnet Fair. 

Hill, M. (2019, September). STEM+C Infusing Computing. Presentation at STEM+C PI Summit, Alexandria, Virginia. 

Boulden, D. C., Freeman, S. B., & Wiebe, E. (2019, April). Building school-level capacity to broaden integration of computational thinking: A research-practice partnership approach. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Toronto, Canada.

Wiebe, E. N., Barnes, T., Freeman, S., Frye, D., Maher, M. L., Cao, L., Dorodchi, M., Pugalee, D., Rorrer, A., Boulden, D., & Cateté, V. (2019, February). Broadening participation through a STEM ecosystem. Poster presented at the 3rd international conference on Research on Equity & Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, & Technology (RESPECT), Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Lytle, N., Cateté, V., Isvik, A., Boulden, D., Dong, Y., Wiebe, E., & Barnes, T. (2019). From ‘use’ to ‘choose’: Scaffolding computational thinking curricula and exploring student choices while programming. Proceedings of the 14th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Glasgow, Scotland.

ISBN: 978-1-4503-7704-1 doi>10.1145/3361721.3362110

Lytle, N., Cateté, V., Boulden, D. C., Dong, Y., Houchins, J., Milliken, A., Isvik, A., Bounajim, D., Wiebe, E., Barnes, T. (2019). Use, modify, create: Comparing computational thinking lesson progressions for STEM classes. Proceedings of the 2019 ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education, Aberdeen, Scotland, 395-401.

ISBN: 978-1-4503-6895-7 doi>10.1145/3304221.3319786

Lytle N., Cateté V., Dong Y., Boulden, D., Akram B., Houchins J., Barnes, T., & Wiebe E. (2019). CEO: A triangulated evaluation of a modeling-based CT-infused activity for non-cs middle grade students. Proceedings of the 1st ACM Global Computing Education Conference, Chengdu, China, 58-64.

ISBN: 978-1-4503-6259-7 doi>10.1145/3300115.3309527

Wiebe, E. N., Barnes, T., Freeman, S., Frye, D., Maher, M. L., Cao, L., Dorodchi, M., Pugalee, D., Rorrer, A., Boulden, D., & Cateté, V. (2019, February). Broadening participation through a STEM ecosystem. Poster presented at the 3rd international conference on Research on Equity & Sustained Participation in Engineering, Computing, & Technology (RESPECT), Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Boulden, D. C., Houchins, J., Rachmatullah, A., Vandenberg, J., Akram, B., Wiebe, E. N., Cateté, V., Lytle, N., Barnes, T. & Wiebe, E. N. (April, 2020). A Situated Professional Development Approach to Build Teacher Efficacy for Computational Modeling. Accepted for presentation at AERA 2020. San Francisco, CA.

Houchins, J., Boulden, D. C., Rachmatullah, A., Akram, B., Wiebe, E. N., Lytle, N., Cateté, V., & Barnes, T. (April, 2020). Scaffolding Use, Modify, Create: Facilitating the Progression to Computational Thinking in Middle-Grades Science. Accepted for presentation at AERA 2020. San Francisco, CA.

Rachmatullah, A., Boulden, D. C., Houchins, J., Akram, B., Lytle, N., Cateté, V., Barnes, T., & Wiebe, E. N. (March, 2020). Evaluating Computational Modeling Curriculum through Students’ and Teachers’ Perspectives: Insight into Enacted and Experienced Curriculum. Accepted for presentation at NARST 2020. Portland, OR.

Cateté, V. Lytle, N., Dong, Y., Boulden, D., Akram, B., Houchins, J., Barnes, T., Wiebe, E., Lester, J., Mott, B., & Boyer, K. (July, 2018). Infusing computational thinking into middle grade science classrooms: Lessons learned. WiPSCE – 13th Workshop in Primary and Secondary Computing Education, Pottsdam, Germany.