In order to demonstrate to future educators how to teach computational thinking (CT), we created three different CT activities: a robotic earthquake simulator, a model of the solar system using Scratch, and a simulation of a car race demonstrating Newton's second law of motion.
Using LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robot kits, students build and code a robotic earthquake simulator. Afterward, they design and construct buildings using LEGOs and then test the structural integrity of their buildings in the event of an earthquake.
Students are introduced to computer programming through online coding exercises and then use Scratch to create a model of Earth’s orbit around the sun.
We created a web-based simulation of a race between two cars to demonstrate Newton’s second law of motion (F = ma). Users can change the force and mass of each car, and the simulation includes a dynamic distance vs. time graph.