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CSTA Computational Thinking Task Force

The purpose of the CSTA Computational Thinking Task Force is to inform and advise CSTA about current developments in computational thinking (CT) and to explore and disseminate teaching and learning resources related to CT. The Task Force will recommend possible projects and directions, and keep the CSTA Board apprised of new developments and initiatives, possible projects for CSTA.

Task Force Members:

Irene Lee, Chair (Santa Fe Institute, Project GUTS)
Fred Martin, Co-Chair (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
J. Philip East (University of Northern Iowa)
Diana Franklin (University of California, Santa Barbara)
Shuchi Grover (Stanford University)
Roxana Hadad (Northeastern Illinois University)
Joe Kmoch (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Michelle Lagos (American School of Tegucigalpa)
Eric Snow (SRI)

Computational Thinking Resources

Computational Thinking Flyer

This one-page flyer provides an operational definition for computational thinking, describing its characteristics and the dispositions and attitudes essential to it. Click here to download.

Download the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources

CSTA and ISTE intend for the CT Teacher Resources to reflect our commitment to the universal idea that CT can work across all disciplines and with all school-age children. The CT Teacher Resources are an introductory package of prototype materials which include:
  • An operational definition of CT for K-12 Education
  • A CT vocabulary and progression chart
  • Nine CT Learning Experiences
  • CT classroom scenarios

Download the Computational Thinking Leadership Toolkit

This companion piece to the Computational Thinking Teacher Resources includes:
  • Making the Case for CT
  • Resources for Creating Systemic Change
  • Implementing Strategies Guide

Research Notebook: Computational Thinking-What and Why?

This pdf is from a presentation given by Jeannette Wing at the OurCS Workshop at Carnegie Mellon University on March 4, 2011. It provides several rich examples of the use of computational thinking in diverse disciplines. Click here to download.

Computational Thinking NGRAM

This NGRAM shows the the frequency of usage of the term "computational thinking" in English between 1940 and 2010. View the NGRAM here.

Research Notebook: Computational Thinking-What and Why?

This new article by Jeannette Wing of Carnegie Mellon University further develops her argument about the importance of computational thinking and its application across disciplines, with a particular focus on abstraction. Click here for online article.

CSTA/ISTE Computational Thinking Workshop

The following materials were created as part of a project undertaken by CSTA and ISTE and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Bringing Computational Thinking to K-12

In this article Barr and Stephenson describe in more detail, an operational definition for computational thinking in K-12. They contend that the process of increasing student exposure to computational thinking in K-12 is complex, requiring systemic change, teacher engagement, and development of significant resources and that collaboration with the computer science education community is vital to this effort. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 0964217 and 1030054. Click here to download.

Computational Thinking: A Digital Age Skill

In this article, Barr, Harrison and Conery argue the importance of making computational thinking accessible for K-12 students. They detail how it differs from other curriculum areas and why students need to understand how, when, and where computers and other digital tools can help solve problems, and how to communicate with others who can assist us with computer-supported solutions. Click here to download.

CT Example Chart

This chart provides some simple examples of computational thinking activities across multiple K-12 academic subject areas. Click here to download.

CT Implementation Matrix

This matrix outlines the complex mix of stakeholders and strategies required to ensure that computational thinking is widely implemented across multiple disciplines in K-12. Using a tri-level timeframe (short term, mid term, and long term) it proposes needed activities and outcomes for multiple stakeholders, organized by stakeholder group. Click here to download.

Computational Thinking Resource Set:
A Problem-Solving Tool for Every Classroom

Computational thinking is integrating the power of human thinking with the capabilities of computers, and it is a required skill for 21st-century success. This resource is made up of three parts: a brochure, a ppt. file, and a Camtasia presentation movie file.

Computational Thinking Brochure:
The cards in this file list simulation and modeling resources for a variety of curriculum areas. Share them with your fellow teachers. Encourage them to "think computationally" by moving technology projects beyond "using" tools and information, toward "creating" tools and information.
Download the brochure here!

Computational Thinking Camtasia Presentation:
This wmv file expands the details in the Computational Thinking PowerPoint presentation with deeper explanations and illustrations. Listen to a description of practical classroom applications that encourage students to move toward a more powerful and creative use of technology.
Download the presentation movie file (zipped) here!

Google Computational Thinking Repository

Several committed teachers in collaboration with Google engineers have put together classroom-ready lessons, examples, and programs illustrating how educators can incorporate computational thinking (CT) into the K-12 curriculum. Educators are encouraged to re-use and adapt these resources to suit the needs of their classrooms as well as build and share their own CT curriculum. Note: All provided materials are under the Creative Commons license.

Exploring Computational Thinking website link:

ECT Repository link:

The Trouble with Computational Thinking

In this thoughtful one-pager, University of South Carolina student Elizabeth Jones discusses her concerns with Computational Thinking.

Download the one-pager here.


CSTA works at many levels to support computing education.

Elementary and Middle school
(problem solving &
computational thinking)

High school
(computing &
computer science)

(enrollment &

(engagement &