Maranatha School's Physics and Computer Sciences Classes Discover Computational Thinking

Published : Wednesday, September 6, 2017 | 6:04 PM

If one person takes up the room of 1 square (made up of 4 stick and 4 connectors), how many sticks and connectors should a home builder order to build a house for the tallest person in the class? What if they wanted a 2 or 3 person house? What is the formula? Figuring out the quantity for a space 1, 2 or 3 squares wide and 5 squares tall was pretty straight forward until they started to build it. What about a doorway to enter and exit? This is where Physics became involved as students learned the difference between theory and the dynamics of actually building a structure. Now that some of the sticks were removed, what amount of additional materials are necessary to make the stable structure for 1, 2, or 3 people? Could they use fewer materials if they built triangles instead of squares? Would making a steeped roof make a difference? This is called Computational Thinking.

Computational Thinking (CT) is a problem-solving process that includes a number of characteristics and dispositions and on Friday, August 25, Samuel Morris’ Computer Science class and Girma Aleme’s Physics class joined together to work on a computational thinking project. CT is essential to the development of computer applications, but it can also be used to support problem-solving across all disciplines, including the humanities, math, and science. Students who learn CT across the curriculum can begin to see a relationship between academic subjects, as well as between life inside and outside of the classroom. Maranatha students applied what they learned in class to solve the types of real world problems that architects and contractors face every day.

Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit






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