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Building on Rural Ingenuity: Incorporating Appalachian Heritage, Storytelling, and Computational Thinking Into Middle School Project-Based Learning

Sat, April 13, 7:45 to 9:15am, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Floor: Level 200, Exhibit Hall B


We report on eleven middle school project-based learning units designed by fifteen Central Appalachian teachers, following our research practice partnership’s very first week-long computational thinking curriculum design institute. We investigate whether and how these planned units offer opportunities for students to practice computational thinking while engaging with the region’s rich heritage of innovation, community connections and storytelling. We find that all, or the vast majority of units, incorporate computational thinking, heritage/community and storytelling in compelling ways. We discuss implications for our partner community, for rural education, and for the field of computational thinking education research.