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 30 pilot teachers testing 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