Assessing Computational Thinking in Maker Activities
The Assessing Computation Thinking in Making Activities (ACTMA) project aims to create embedded, adaptive, and culturally unbiased activities and formative assessments of computational thinking (CT) in STEM that can be used in informal learning spaces such as makerspaces, but can also be brought into more formal physics classroom experiences. Our 2-week summer program will bring 20 students together to pilot our activities and assessments created thus far in the project. Makerspaces are informal community workspaces where people can congregate to create and innovate. Students are provided with the time and space in which to work, and they have permission to be creative and possibly fail. Makerspaces are excellent environments for demonstrating the versatility of CT. Although makerspaces can contribute to all kinds of “making,” the focus of this project is on computational making. ACTMA addresses the current lack of a formative assessment that can evaluate student acquisition of CT skills as well as guide the design of learning activities.