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IES Contract

Title: Learning to Code with a Pretend Play Storytelling Model
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Shochet, Joe Awardee: codeSpark
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8 months (5/12/2018 1/12/2019) Award Amount: $200,000
Type: Phase I Development Award Number: 91990018C0023

In previous research and development, the developers created codeSpark, a game that employs a visual and block-based approach with puzzles to teach programming skills to children ages 5 to 9 years old. In this project, the developers will create a prototype of a fantasy-based story to be integrated within the existing game. The pretend-play scenarios will include characters, storylines, and incentives to further engage young children and make greater connections to learning goals. At the end of Phase I in a pilot study with six K-2 teachers over one month, the researchers will examine whether the prototype functions as planned, whether teachers believe that the full product concept could be implemented, and whether the prototype shows potential for improving child outcomes related to computational skills and interests.