A computational introduction to STEM studies

Eric Freudenthal, Rebeca Gonzalez, Sarah Hug, Alexandria Ogrey, Mary Kay Roy, Alan Siegel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We report on the content and early evaluation of a new introductory programming course "Media Propelled Computational Thinking," (abbreviated MPCT and pronounced iMPaCT). MPCT is integrated into a freshman-level entering students program that aims at retaining students by responding to the academic recruitment and attrition challenges of computer science and other STEM disciplines.This course is intended to provide meaningful experiences of relevance to students choosing majors that also fortifies their qualitative understandings of foundational math and physics concepts. MPCT's activities are designed to provide analytical challenges typical of STEM professions and to motivate additional inquiry. Preliminary evaluation results are encouraging - students from a wide range of academic majors find MPCT engaging and report that the analytical tasks were effective at conveying insight and decreasing anxiety towards foundational mathematical concepts. This paper extends prior reports on MPCT with evaluation results indicating that more than half of attendees indicated increased confidence in the understanding and application of quantitative analysis tasks and detected differences in that nature of students' engagement with math in MPCT and traditional math courses. In addition, this report includes an overview of an emerging effort to investigate the integration of MPCT into secondary school curricula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010
Event2010 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Louisville, KY, United States
Duration: Jun 20 2010Jun 23 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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