iMPaCT-STEM is an acronym for
Media-Propelled Computational Thinking for STEM classrooms
Media-Propelled Computational-Thinking for Mathematics (iMPaCT-Math) learning modules engage students as active learners of mathematics, and enhance their appreciation of what they can accomplish with their own growing skills. iMPaCT-Math learning modules utilize summation within simple computer programs to extend students’ zone of proximal development to include modeling of dynamic phenomena whose rates of change are characterized by functions students already understand.
These programs enable students to discover their own math and logic errors in a manner that encourages further engagement with computation. Since the algorithms are simple and transparent, and the results graphically displayed, student teams can easily discover their errors. When the mistake is fixed so that, for example, the bouncing ball moves as it should, the achievement is theirs.
For more insight, you may want to visit the iMPaCT site.
iMPaCT-STEM is adapting techniques developed by the iMPaCT project into short and self-contained modules suitable for integration into traditional math and physics classrooms.
Like Media-Propelled Computational Thinking (iMPaCT), iMPaCT-STEM first introduces students with weak mathematical maturity to the basics of programming through the design and examination of tiny programs that draw lines and curves. Later modules use these same techniques to explore the principles underlying familiar dynamic processes such as ballistics and resonance.
Like other graphically-oriented programming courses, students attending iMPaCT-STEM are quickly and gently introduced to the foundations of programming. Whether we're programming on a workstation in Jython or on a calculator, in less than an hour, students are typically modifying programs they fully understand.
iMPaCT-STEM modules use easily taught and adaptable programming concepts as a framework for modeling the behavior of physical objects. In this way, they reinforce the concepts and intuitions of pre-calculus and mathematical modeling by engaging students in hands-on simulations of physical systems.
MPCT-STEM is an outgrowth of the Media-Propelled Computational Thinking (iMPaCT) Project.
iMPaCT-STEM is affiliated with the Computing Alliance for Hispanics and supported by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Homeland Security, and gifts from Texas Instruments Inc. Microsoft Inc. and Calculex, Inc. Assistance in project planning and evaluation was provided by the NSF-BPC Computing Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institutions (CNS-0837556). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or other sponsors.