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Think Like a Computer


Computational thinking is a precursor to computer science; it’s the way computer scientists approach the problems that they want to solve using a computer.

Credit: Sandbox Studio, Chicago/Steve Shanabruch

In Belle Fourche, South Dakota, science teacher Ann Anderson instructs 100 fifth-grade students each day. Recently, they were learning about matter. 

Her students were working to find out: Is an empty cup truly empty? How do we know atoms have even smaller sub-components? 

Anderson helped students tackle some of these questions through hands-on activities. And after each lesson, she challenged her students to think through how they approached the problem. "Did you take multiple steps to figure this out?" she asked. "Did you ignore some things so you could focus on the important things? Did you look for patterns?" 

These questions are designed to help students understand a concept called computational thinking.

From Symmetry Magazine
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