The Computing MATTERS workshop at the Texas Advanced Computing Center focused on inquiry-based learning enhanced by computational thinking with content and practice to assist teachers and faculty to incorporate modeling at all levels from desktop to mobile. The workshop exposed teachers to the basics of computational thinking, including modeling and simulation, with special emphasis on exploring topics that complement each other in math and biology. Materials for the workshop were drawn from National Science Digital Library (NSDL), in particular Shodor’s extensive Interactivate collection of lessons, discussions, activities, and supporting materials, aligned with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards.
Computational science has proven itself as a new way of doing science; enabling observations to be made that are not possible in any other way. Further, as a model of modeling, computational models offer a higher level of independent variation and control unachievable by “wet” or laboratory experiments. There is a fundamental skill-set with respect to any computation, all centered around the simple question, “how do you know if it is right?” Mathematics from arithmetic to algebra can be brought in through dynamic, visual, and interactive models.