Project Square: Playbook v.0.1.

Presentation

Welcome to Square, an open source and cost-free playful learning kit for unplugged computational thinking - an essential 21st century skill set - in K12 classrooms. We have designed this kit to make it easy for teachers and students with little or no previous knowledge of computational thinking or computer science to experience, understand and integrate this essential skills set into the classroom. As emerging best practice around the world shows, computational thinking skills are transferable to any curriculum in any classroom, and they are particularly relevant to developing much needed computing skills. Most importantly, with a little bit of practice, introducing this skills set to any classroom can bring much fun and excitement both for students and educators!

This playbook supports educators with “plug and play” activities that can be used together with Square materials in K12 classrooms with no prior training or preparation. Following the instructions, teachers can guide children in solving small-scale problems and experiences step by step the basic principles of computational thinking. The unifying contextual theme of the playbook is Square City, a futuristic, inspiring city whose inhabitants are creative collaborators and where technology (i.e. robots, computers) is used to solve different challenges the community is facing. In this context, children will experience exciting adventures by jumping on coloured tiles, encoding rules and devising algorithms to solve real-life problems.

This playbook is intended as a starting point in a journey towards making computational thinking and computer science part of everyday school life. With a little bit of practice, it can be enhanced by educators with their own activities and across different disciplines, from art to science.