The DevTech Research Group at Tufts University directed by Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers, is partnering with multiple school districts and early childhood centers to explore the integration of coding and computational thinking in Pre-K-2 classrooms. The project utilizes the KIBO robot, developed by Dr. Bers and commercialized by the Kinderlab Robotics Inc., and the newly developed curriculum, “Coding as Another language (CAL)”. This curriculum aligns the integration of computational thinking and computer science with learning about math and literacy, through a collaborative, project-based process. Our current project sites include:
- “Operation: Breaking the Code for College and Career Readiness” (funded by the Department of Defense) to explore best practices for professional development and curricular resources for coding through KIBO robotics and CAL KIBO curriculum in the Norfolk Public School District, Norfolk, VA, the first state in the US to formally mandate K-12 computer science education.
- “Blocks, ‘Bots, and Books: Teaching coding as another language in Head Start classrooms”, in collaboration with Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, aims to explore the integration of KIBO robotics and CAL KIBO curriculum in Head Start centers in St. Louis, MO. The project 1) explores how teaching and learning with CAL KIBO impacts children’s coding knowledge, as well as their academic and developmental competencies, and 2) seeks to understand early childhood teachers’ evolving knowledge and attitudes around coding and robotics education.
- “Bringing Coding and Robotics Education to Children Experiencing Homelessness,” is a collaboration with Horizons for Homeless children in Boston, MA to explore the use of KIBO robotics and the CAL KIBO curriculum in preschool classes serving 3-5 year old children experiencing homelessness. The project 1) explores how teaching KIBO with the CAL curriculum leads to growth in coding and computational thinking knowledge and 2) explores how teaching KIBO impacts children’s language, social-emotional, and approaches to learning development.