Program description (for K6-K8 students)
In Adventures in Computing students will explore a range of creative technologies and tackle puzzles and problems -- sometimes involving computers and sometimes unplugged. Students will develop their ideas using web design, programming, robotics, and interactive medias. In the process they will discover some fundamental principles relating to computer science, such as the concepts of binary, sorting, and algorithms. With Adventures in Computing we hope to encourage a future generation of problem solvers and creators of new technologies. The long-term goals of this program are to increase and to broaden participation in the field of computing.
(Note: if you are interested in a description for teachers or a copy of the pedagogical outline for this program, contact Kenny Joseph.)
In 2009, Jana Diesner created the "Computational Thinking" (now called "Adventures in Computing") program to provide middle school students (6th to 8th grade) with opportunities to discover and practice basic principles of computing and computational thinking through fun activities. We started running the "Computational Thinking" program at the Pittsburgh Science & Technology Academy (SciTech) in Fall 2010. SciTech is a public K6-12 school in the Oakland neighborhood. The program is a continuation of the CS Prep program, which Diesner originally started at the Pittsburgh Milliones 6-12 University Preparatory (UPrep) School. UPrep is located in Pittsburgh's Hill District neighborhood.
Computational Thinking is a fundamental skill just like reading, writing, and arithmetic that everybody can benefit from in their education and everyday life. Thinking computationally helps us to develop solutions to a wide array of problems and hones our analytical capabilities, but it does not necessarily require using a computer to learn it.
Upon Diesner's departure to UIUC, Kenny Joseph took over the leadership for this program. He is supported by a great team of volunteers. In 2012 the program was renamed Adventures in Computing.