Computer programming for young children has grown in popularity among both educators and product developers, but still relatively little is known about what skills children are developing when they code. This study investigated N = 57 Kindergarten through second grade children’s performance on a programming assessment after engaging in a 6-week curricular intervention. Children used the ScratchJr programming tool to create animated stories, collages, and games.
Computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) is the ability to design, implement, and assess the implementation of algorithms to solve a range of problems. It involves identifying and understanding a problem, articulating an algorithm or set of algorithms in the form of a solution to the problem, implementing that solution in such a way that the solution solves the problem, and evaluating the solution based on some set of criteria.
Computational algorithmic thinking (CAT) is the ability to design, implement, and assess the implementation of algorithms to solve a range of problems. Supporting Computational Algorithmic Thinking (SCAT) is a longitudinal project that explores the development of CAT capabilities by guiding African American middle-school girls through the iterative game design cycle, resulting in a set of complex games around broad themes.