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Leveraging Food as the Context for Developing Computational Algorithmic Thinking in an Entry-Level College Course

Leveraging Food as the Context for Developing Computational Algorithmic Thinking in an Entry-Level College Course
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Author(s): Yolanda A. Rankin (Spelman College, USA) and Jakita O. Thomas (Auburn University, USA)
Copyright: 2017
Pages: 18
Source title: Moving Students of Color from Consumers to Producers of Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Yolanda Rankin (Spelman College, USA) and Jakita Thomas (Auburn University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2005-4.ch006

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Abstract

Over the course of three years, we have developed the It's All In The Mix module as part of an introductory Computer Science (CS) course that is a required course for all STEM majors. It's All In The Mix currently consists of a set of integrated food-focused activities that expose students to computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) – the ability to design, implement, adapt and assess algorithms. In the context of using recipes to prepare food, It's All In The Mix provides an anchoring experience for African American undergraduate STEM majors, bridging the gap between students' enactment of algorithms in everyday settings and algorithms in an introductory CS course. As a result of the integration of the It's All In The Mix, we achieve 100% retention of students in the introductory CS course. This chapter examines how this food module has influenced students' development of CAT and their perception of CS.

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