If you like what you see here, check out my other work at adamlamee.com.

Project Goals

Coding Activities

Our coding activities cover a range of science topics, some computer science basics, and even some non-STEM analyses. They intentionally don’t have much extra formatting, answer keys, or explanatory text. They work well for teachers learning about scientific computing and, if you’re a minimalist, can be used as-is with your students. If you prefer your students to have more detailed instructions, they’re easy to edit for a different presentation, sequence, question type, etc. Google’s Colaboratory has become our go-to platform for easy implementation in a variety of settings. It lets you run these Jupyter notebooks from any device with a browser (desktop, mobile, or otherwise). Want the raw notebook files? See the project GitHub.

Note:

Earth & Space Science

Physical Science

OCPS 7th Grade (in development)


Do students need to learn how to code?

There’s increasing momentum for coding in schools and that’s a good thing. Every student should be exposed to computer programming – equal access to lucrative careers depends on it. However, a dedicated computer science course is not the answer for all (or even most) students. Math and science courses are prime territory for this task. Here are some ways my colleagues and I are making that happen. Have a question or want to contribute? Send me an email at adamlamee@gmail.com.
You may be surprised to see the salaries and backgrounds of computer programmers in Central Florida, courtesy of Orlando Devs.

How we do it

Teachers have enough to cover without adding computer programming to the list. Our goal is to use computer programming as a tool to address science content - the coding is secondary. So you won’t see loops and conditionals taught explicitly, but that allows non-CS-fluent teachers to use these activities with their classes in useful manner. You can find the source files on the project’s GitHub. These resources are free to use and modify, but not for resale. If you’re a teacher using this with your own students, let us know how you’re implementing it (because we’re interested in that sort of thing). Others: see the project’s GitHub for license information.

You can install it on your own device with Anaconda. Get the Python 3 version (not Python 2). Anaconda includes Python, Jupyter, and lots of other useful tools our activities use. Need a video to walk you through getting started? Check these out:

Collaborations

Seminole County, FL

We helped Seminole County School District develop coding activities for 6th and 7th grade science along with student worksheets. Their pilot began in spring 2017 led by Bryan Turner (Milwee MS) and Adam Goodman (Markham Woods MS) with help from UCF PhysTEC and its undergrads. Like we need another reason to envy how Seminole County does science? Find the source files on their GitHub.

Orange County, FL

We’re also helping Orange County Public Schools integrate coding into their 6th grade science classes districtwide (FYI: that’s over 14,000 kids we’re reaching this year), with 7th and 8th soon to follow.
“Orange County Public Schools is expanding coding in middle schools by authentically embedding coding activities in 6th grade (science classes). Students will gain meaningful exposure to coding in the Python programming language through traditional science instruction.” - statement from the Superintendent’s office
Imagine nearly every student arriving to high school with three years of scientific computing experience … wow. Check out their interactive activities or view the source files on GitHub](https://github.com/ocps-codes).

Make it happen in your school

Use the activities linked above, write your own, or let us work with your team. We can also help you develop an implementation plan that suits your site’s needs and resources. My colleagues and I conduct teacher workshops and district-wide professional development on coding, physical science content, reformed pedagogy, and digital literacy. Drop a line to adamlamee@gmail.com if you’d like to learn more.

More resources