Until recently, the world’s most popular K12 computer science website, hourofcode.com, did not have any physics-focused coding activities. This was the case until Professor Chris Orban of Ohio State University initiated an effort to develop coding tutorials for physics teachers to learn code. Below is a link to describe his work on this project:
Perhaps the best way to understand what Professor Orban has developed is to look at the “The Physics of Video Games” Hour of Code video tutorial below:.
Another perspective is to examine the STEMcoding project (u.osu.edu/stemcoding), which was just released on hourofcode.com/learn. The direct link to the video tutorial is at go.osu.edu/hourofcode . The “Physics of Video Games” coding activities are intended for absolute beginner programmers in grades 9-12 and they were designed with significant feedback from high school physics teachers. All activities are 100% chromebook compatible. The STEMcoding project, which was recently selected for the AIP Meggers award, is led by Prof. Chris Orban from Ohio State University and Prof. Richelle Teeling-Smith from the University of Mt. Union.
Once you take the time to explore this project, I think you will find it very useful for high school teachers. Since we all know that video games are of interest for most high school learners, having teachers examine how physics can be understood within video games offers educators great potential to motivate students to learn physics. In summary, this is a winner!
For more information including (mostly online) summer professional development for teachers (from any STEM discipline) please contact Prof. Chris Orban at firstname.lastname@example.org
Edwin P. Christmann is a professor and chairman of the secondary education department and graduate coordinator of the mathematics and science teaching program at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.