The Annual K-12 Computational Thinking Fair

Mark your calendars: Saturday April 13th, 2019

Email us at allscience@iastate.edu if you have any questions!

1. About the Computational Thinking Fair

The Department of Computer Science is proud to host the 10th annual Computational Thinking Fair! (What is Computational Thinking?) This annual event has a science fair-like format where contestants come prepared to present their projects to judges. It is a great educational event where participants learn to present their own work, as well as to learn about all the other exciting projects!

The 2019 competition is co-sponsored by Rockwell Collins, John Deere, Kingland Systems, and the Department of Computer Science.

Judges will be engineers, teachers, researchers, and other professionals who have an interest in encouraging K-12 excellence. They will provide individual feedback and evaluation to each participant.

For grade level K-3, this will be a non-competitive event and there will be prizes and recognition for all participants. For grade levels 4-6, 7-9, and 1-13, there will be Trophies given to winners - in addition to prizes for all participants.

To participate in this event:

  1. Decide if you want to work with someone else or by yourself.
  2. Decide on project ideas (You need to demonstrate computational thinking).
  3. Register for the event at our site (Note: Registration is not yet open).
  4. Start working on the project.
  5. Bring your project to the event.

2. Computational Thinking

Computational thinking means thinking like a computer scientist.  Participants will need to solve the problem posed by their project in the context of a computational model :

  • The Computational Model must have data and support abstraction.
  • There must be an instruction set. The instruction set must operate on the data.
  • The Computational Model must support input (a way to get data into the model) and output (results of the solution need to be visible to the judges).
  • The solution approach should encompass one or more elements of decomposition, pattern-matching, and abstraction. Contestants must be able to explain.

3. Competition Rules and Judging Rubric

Contestants can work in small groups of two or by themselves. Each entry (individual or team) must have a project that requires a solution and the solution must use computational thinking. Each student will present their project to a team of judges. Judges will rate the entries on:

  • Difficulty of the problem posed by the project
  • Cleverness of the solution to the problem
  • Appropriateness and cleverness of the computational model
  • Ability of the student(s) to explain how the project works

4. Example Past Projects

Note that registration is not yet open for this event.​​​​