Wednesday, April 13
10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Computer Science Through Working Models of Common Digital Devices

Workshop (F2F) ID: 60940
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    Roger Wagner
    1010 Technologies

Abstract: State standards for computer science and STEM/STEAM K-12 can be done in part by having students (appropriate for grades 6- 12) create working models of digital devices with embedded computing that they see around them in their everyday life. Examples range from traffic lights and kitchen timers to digital music players and robotic vehicles. Learn, as a student would, how a micro-controller can be programmed with a simple block language, and how even the simplest device opens the door to deeper challenges.


Workshop participants will gain understanding and insight into how students can meet state computer science standards by building working models of common digital devices such as a traffic signal, kitchen timer, automatic night lights, thermostat, digital piano, an electronic board game and others. Participants will see how a planned series of hands-on projects incrementally adds to students' skill sets and understanding, while keeping cognitive load at an optimal level for best engagement and motivation. Participants will see how a large portion of computer science standards can be met in a short period of time through a strategically-planned series of projects, each of which leverages and builds upon the previous work at each given stage of the curriculum.

Topical Outline

1. Introduction (0:00 - 0:15) 2. Overview of program performance 2019-2022 (0:15 - 0:45) 3. Hands-on construction of a physical-digital model (TBD) (0:45 - 1:45) 4. Coding with Microsoft MakeCode for the BBC micro:bit (1:45 - 2:30) 5. Reflection and discussion (2:30 - 3:00)


Familiarity with block coding environments such as Scratch, MakeCode or others.

Experience Level



Roger Wagner is a former middle- and high school science and math teacher, with additional experience over a 40+ year career in educational technology. Extensive background information and qualifications can be seen at


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