Computational thinking plays an increasingly important role in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Yet, many high school students never encounter computational thinking in their day-to-day coursework. Our project develops computational thinking activities that can be embedded in existing high school STEM courses (CT-STEM).


Download our 2012 and 2013 posters.

Our Program

  • Developing and testing 60 CT activities that can be embedded in existing high school STEM courses
  • Conducting summer professional development workshops and ongoing Saturday coaching sessions to prepare and support over 50 teachers from 35 Chicago area schools to use our CT activities in their STEM classrooms
  • Engaging over 1000 high-school students across 14 schools in CT activities
  • Rigorous evaluation studies will document the CT learning and attitudinal gains for both teachers and students and provide  evidence for the success of our embedded CT approach
  • Impacting a broad cross-section of students, including under-represented groups
  • Creating a pipeline to the new AP CS Principles course
  • Addressing the new computational thinking and modeling requirements in the NGSS


  • By engaging students with CT activities embedded in their STEM courses, we seek to gradually increase the interest and appeal of CT by casting a wide net.
  • Advancing understanding of how to engage a broad population of high-school students and teachers in CT with the goal of fundamentally transforming the way in which students are exposed to CT in high school.
  • By incorporating the embedded-CT activities into standard STEM courses, we seek to impact the broadest cross-section of student populations, including those from traditionally underrepresented groups in CS, and more effectively recruit students into our full-year CT course, creating a pipeline to the new AP CS Principles course, and perhaps a future CT career trajectory.

Contact us: ct-stem@nullccl.northwestern.edu