Engaging Middle School Teachers and Students with Alice in a Diverse Set of Subjects

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Engaging Middle School Teachers and Students with Alice in a Diverse Set of Subjects. Susan Rodger Duke University SIGCSE 2009 March 6, 2009. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Engaging Middle School Teachers and Students with Alice in a Diverse Set of SubjectsSusan RodgerDuke University

SIGCSE 2009March 6, 2009

Supported by the National Science Foundation Collaborative Grant ESI-0624642, 0624654, 0624528, NSF Supplement DRL-0826661, two CRA distributed mentor awards, and two Faculty Awards from International Business Machines.

Henry Qin, Gaetjens Lezin, Jenna Hayes, Ruthie Tucker, Debra Nelson, Wanda Dann, Steve Cooper, Mercedes Lopez and Don Slater

Thanks to my CoAuthors

OutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Alice Examples and Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsSummary and Future Plans

How do we Introduce and Teach Science?Physics experiments

Chemistry - experiments

Biology - experiments

We dont introduce Computer Science in K-12!Not taught in middle schools and many high schoolsStudents dont know what computer science is!What they think it is: keyboarding, spread sheets, word processing.VERY EXCITING NOT!

Write a calculatorWrite a banking programEtc

If taught, how do we introduce CS?Why Cant the Introduction of Computer Science be exciting?Programming its always beenHands-onInteractiveFrustrating!Whats missing?Not Getting Exciting Results Easily, right awayNot appealing to todays kids in which media and technology are a part of their life!

Bring on Alice Virtual Worlds!Alice isHands-on!Interactive!Exciting Results right away!

Alice has the potential to excite kids about computer science in the same way that experiments excite kids about chemistry, physics and biology!

Alice Programming LanguageCreate interactive stories or gamesLearn programming in an easy way, drag-and-drop your codeLearn computer science concepts:Loops, classes, methods, functions, arrays

Developed at Carnegie Mellon UniversityProfessor Randy PauschAlice is free: www.alice.org

Alice Programming LanguageHas libraries of 3D objects

Keeps Track of objects you select

Objects Have Multiple Parts that are moveable

Alice Code is Easy to LearnSelect Code, Drag-and-Drop code in program

Play Alice AnimationChicken rises, cow turns head and talks

CompSci 4 Alice Class at DukeLecture for 10-20 minutesStudents work on problem with computers in pairsBring students back together

Success - Alice attracts diverse groupAt Duke CompSci 4 Spring 200522 preregister, 30 enroll (12 female + 3 African Amer.)CompSci 4 Fall 200520 preregister, 31 enroll (17 female 1 African Amer.)CompSci 4 Fall 2006 2 sections64 students, 33 female, 7 African Amer.CompSci 4 Fall 2007 2 sections 84 students - > 50% femaleCompSci 4 Fall 2008 2 sections100 students - > 50% femaleAdvertised in school paper picture of ice skaterWeb site of animations

Games Created byDuke CompSci 4 StudentsNon-majors Most never programmed beforeFinal projects after 10 weeks of Alice50% of students are womenSpring 05, Fall 05, Fall 06, Fall 07, Fall 08Game: Candyland

Select girl and boy to play

Click on red and green buttons to move them.Game: Frogger Get frog across road

Game: Eragon

4 tasks to win the gameGame: Tic Tac Toe

Game: DDRClick on arrow keys, Player moves foot to squareGame: Dating Game

Game: Rumble Putt

Game: Sarah Palins Seaplane Adventure

Sarah Palins Seaplane Adventure (cont)

OutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Alice Examples and Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsSummary and Future Plans

Integrate Alice into high school and middle schools by training teachersSix sites:

Durham site focuses on Middle Schools in NC www.cs.duke.edu/csed/alice/aliceInSchoolsAdventures in Alice ProgrammingDurham, NCCharleston, SCVirginia Beach, VADenver, COOxford, MSSan Jose, CA

Duke: Adventures in Alice siteSummer 2008 3-week Teacher workshop35 teachers, mostly middle school, some high schoolOnly a few had ever programmed beforeSubjects: english, math, science, history, art, technologyTaught them Alice, Developed Lesson PlansTwo one-week middle school campsTaught AliceLots of time to build their own Alice worldsOverlap between the twoFollowup Teacher workshop Summer 09

How to Use Alice in Middle SchoolsTeachersExamples in lectureMake interactive quizzesMake worlds on concepts for students to view StudentsProjects (in place of a poster, a model) To take quizzesTo view and answer questions about a worldOutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Alice Examples and Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsFuture Plans

Three Introductory TutorialsSimple, Short (15 min) tutorial to try AliceAdd an object, use built-in methodsOne hour tutorial for younger kidsWriting methods, simple events, cameraFour part tutorial for middle school kidsMore detailed on placement of objects, writing methods, events, camera controlHow to put a person on a horseAnswer a cell phone

Many short tutorials on CS TopicsCS TopicsProgramming sequential and at the same timeMethodsEventsLoopingConditionals (making a choice)Functions (compute and return an answer)ListsVariables

Other Fun Topics Blended inStoryboardsChanging camera viewsScene changes and lightingMaking BillboardsMaking objects invisible and visibleSoundsGlueing objects to others

OutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Examples and Alice Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsSummary and Future Plans

Science Example: How volcano is formed

How a volcano is formed (slide 2)

How a volcano is formed (slide 3)

How a volcano is formed (slide 4)Math Example:Teacher Lesson Plan on quadrant planeClick on lighthouseEnter x,y positionObjects randomly move

Magic Tree House QuizFamous Childrens Book Series

Kitty Story childrens book on handicapped child

Other Ideas for ProjectsStory from Ancient EgyptSpanish Quiz in which you see a word and have to click on the object the word representsAnimate a scene from a book you have read or a poem you have writtenCreate a world about school safetyMemory game remember a random color sequenceMath Quiz Answer the questionsAlice worlds for these and more are on our website.

Other Teacher Lesson PlansMathFinding surface areaRate of Change and SlopeScienceCreate a food chainSun, Earth and Moon systemTornadosPhysics Newtons law of gravityAlternative Energy

History/Social StudiesThe continents view world and answer questionsAnimated overview of JapanAnimated overview of Egypt

EnglishWrite and animate a poemAnimate a poem or scene from a storyWrite a movie trailerOther Teacher Lesson Plans (cont)

OutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Alice Examples and Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsSummary and Future Plans

What type of objects did they use?Girls top fivePeople, animals, environments, nature, 3D-text

Boys top fiveVehicles, people, buildings, scifi, special effectsTypical Boy Example

SciFi, vehicles, fire

More fire

And more fire

And more fire!

Girl Examples Dancing chicken

Girl Example 2 - Egypt

Girl Example 3 Attack of the lemurs

Girl Example 4 - carnival

Girl Example 5 rescue baby

How did the Students use Alice?Examined worlds to see which concepts they used

TOPIC at least once 3+ times parameters 34% 17% loop 57% 23% list 45% 8% simple event 57% 34% 4 arrow event 60% 26% if statement 43% 11%

vehicle property 88% 46% camera controls 80% 51% scene change 51% 26% color property 66% 17%

CS TopicsBasic topicsFeedback from Parents[My daughter] thoroughly enjoyed her week with you. It was a great experience!Im convinced. Kids like Alice and Alice is a good way to teach kids programming. [My son] is doing my python course and hes not all that interested in python and never touches it between the courses. However, in the evenings when he comes home from the Alice course, he works on his Alice worlds.OutlineMotivation and backgroundAdventures in Alice Programming overviewMiddle School Alice TutorialsMiddle School Alice Examples and Lesson PlansUsage of Alice by Middle School StudentsSummary and Future Plans

SummarizingWe developed TutorialsExamples of possible use in Middle SchoolsTeachers developedLesson Plans for history, science, math, language arts, art, and technologyAnimation FairMiddle School StudentsWere engaged, developed their own worldsAnimation FairDifficult to get away from the computer

All materials are on our website.

FollowupTeachers use Alice during the school yearFollowup 2-3 day workshop in Summer 2009June 15-16

Visited one of the schoolsPresenting at the local public school technology dayAlice Symposium and workshops in 2009June 17, 2009 Alice SymposiumSubmit papers by March 15thwww.cs.duke.edu/csed/aliceSymposium2009/Two one-week Alice workshopsJune 22-26June 28- July 2Two day Alice workshopJune 15-16Web siteAdventures in Alice Programming www.cs.duke.edu/csed/alice/aliceInSchools