Classroom Interactions: Exploring Segregation Model and Coding with STEM Pre-service Teachers

Dr. Sepehr Vakil, instructor of Classoom Interaction, and Jason Harron, teaching assistant, have been exploring equity issues related to computer science with the Fall 2017 cohort of STEM pre-service teachers. As part of the curriculum unit, students investigate the influence of technology and the role that it has played in the gentrification of east Austin. After exploring the history of segregation in east Austin, students were given the opportunity to learn more about emergent segregation patterns by using GbCC.

This provided students with an opportunity to investigate how the variables affected the outcome of the model, and share their outcomes with the class using the Gallery feature. As part of this curriculum unit students are introduced to coding and how you can learn coding by tinkering with existing code. Students recompiled the code of the segregation model to modify the colors used in their segregation model. The strengths and weaknesses of the existing model were discussed and students brainstormed additional variables, such as education level and wealth, as additional features that they would like to see in future models.



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