The big idea.

While working in the Chilean public school system, I’ve seen classrooms where students are graded purely on their notebooks. It’s difficult to get students to truly engage with the material when all we ask them to do is fill in the blank.

I use a constructionist teaching approach to teach computer science. Students learn to program through projects and experimentation. In my workshops, I show high school students they are capable of learning complex concepts by leading them in various video game-making projects.

In March 2017, I began to teach computer science in Chilean public high schools. I wrote 10 case studies in total: 7 case studies testing curriculum with students, 2 case studies evaluating educational games, and one case study where

10 case studies

7 case studies testing curriculum
  1. Talagante – I designed a 4-class curriculum for introducing students to computational thinking with Scratch.
  2. Escuela Cáhuil – I designed a project-based, multidisciplinary 8-course project using Scratch.
  3. Liceo Divina Maestra — I designed a 3-course curriculum that uses Scratch as a tool to teach English as a second language. I tested the curriculum with 5th graders at a public school in Pichilemu, Chile.
  4. Technovation Challenge Chile — I taught app development to a team of girls representing Chile in a competition to build applications that address problems within local communities.
  5. English Coding Camp Week 1 — We used VEX IQ robotics kits to teach English and robotics concurrently.
  6. English Coding Camp Week 2
  7. Jóvenes Programadores
2 case studies testing educational games I developed
  1. Various schools — I designed a series of 10-minute activities that teach computational thinking concepts.
  2. Regina Mundi — I designed a card game which teaches students to think like a computer.
One case study educating teachers.
  1. Scratch Al Sur — At the Scratch Al Sur conference in Santiago, I taught a 3-hour workshop for English teachers, who want to use Scratch to teach English and programming in the classroom.

A brief intro to the Chilean education system

Before I began my case studies, I analyzed and visualized publicly available performance data from the Ministry of Education. 

Why should we teach computer science?

Using data from Laborum, Chile’s job postings site, I conducted an analysis of the skill gap within the technology sector here in Chile. Although there is huge demand for computer scientists, I found that the public education system doesn’t produce near enough. My research aims to find ways of encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM.