Alliance for Iowa State
-Make Your Voice Heard-

More than 50 Iowa youth showed off their computer programming skills April 18 at the annual Computational Thinking Competition sponsored by Iowa State University's Department of Computer Science.


The event is part of an ISU program to increase computer literacy of K-12 Iowa students by moving them beyond just being a computer user. Computational thinking is a universal skill used in computer science that also can be applied to math, science and almost any other academic subject. Students utilize a computational model that teaches them basic, logical steps in problem solving.


Students prepared for the competition by participating in a series of workshops led by ISU Computer Science faculty and students. The workshops, family computing nights in Iowa communities, and computer science training sessions for elementary and middle school teachers are all part of an ISU effort to introduce computer science to Iowa students. A special emphasis is placed on getting more girls interested in computer science.


Past student projects in the ISU competition have included a rocket launch simulator, a virus simulator and a model of white blood cells in the healing process. "Younger students, mostly K-3, tend to develop games and older students tend to model dynamic processes," Les Miller, professor of computer science, said. The competition has four categories from kindergarten to 12th grade. 


The competition is another way ISU supports STEM education in Iowa. New science and mathematics standards emphasize modeling. Computational thinking, combined with problem solving, gives students a deeper understanding of their academic subjects and provides an effective way of using models to enhance education.

 Iowa State's Mission:
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The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association. 


The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State University alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa while focusing its advocacy on

state legislators and public policy makers.