…this effort drives the modernization of science courses to include the use of computationally rich tools and methods to advance understanding, accelerate discovery, and prepare students for future endeavors in all fields that employ high tech computer tools and computational practices.

Students develop foundational skills needed for success as future scientists in science courses taken in K-12. In a world driven by technology, success in future scientific work requires foundational knowledge and skills in using the computational tools/processes that enable creativity and innovation in these high tech work environments.

To that end, with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF), EDC and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) are developing a Science+C (+Computing) Pathway to college for Massachusetts High School Students offering them new courses in Computational Biology, Computational Chemistry and Computational Physics.  Each of these new courses will include 10 units that build foundational computer modeling skills/knowledge to help students learn to create, innovate and solve problems by using and modifying computational models. The project also includes yearlong teacher professional development to support implementation of the Science+C courses, and studies the impact of these courses on student learning outcomes in science.

Science+C’s approach, to embed computational thinking (CT) and computing skill development within the core science courses required for graduation, mitigates an uneven distribution in the availability of CS courses in Massachusetts high schools. Furthermore, this effort drives the modernization of science courses to include the use of computationally rich tools and methods to advance understanding, accelerate discovery, and prepare students for future endeavors in all fields that employ high tech computer tools and computational practices. New courses will be available to all MA high schools in September 2022.