AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Bootstrap Computational Modeling in Physics First

Project Overview

Computational thinking is widely recognized as an essential skill for the future workforce and success in STEM. This grant engages teachers in professional development to plan and implement classroom instruction in algebra-based Physics First courses that integrates computational modeling (one aspect of computational thinking) through two existing, widely used approaches - Modeling Instruction for physics and Bootstrap for computational modeling. This program is especially focused on combating many equity concerns associated with student access to physics sand computer science. Working with Physics First teachers will allow this project to impact student populations which will be demographically more diverse than students historically enrolled in standalone computer science courses or upper-grade physics courses. Read more about "Why Computational Modeling in Physics."

This grant supports collaborative efforts between the AAPT, American Modeling Teachers Association, Bootstrap, and STEMteachersNYC.

In August 2016, this project brought together 12 New York area middle school and high school Modeling physics teachers to learn programming using the Pyret language from the team that developed the nationally-recognized Bootstrap project to teach algebra to students through computer science. During the workshop, participants developed curricular resources - compatible with Modeling Physics First courses - that they implement throughout the remainder of the school year. In August 2017, a total of 30 teachers will come together to revise, expand, and develop additional curricular resources and instructional approaches.
Learn more about the status of this project at the blog postings below:

To learn more about this initiative, see the graphic below, and please contact AAPT K-12 Program Manager Rebecca Vieyra at rvieyra@aapt.org.


Computational Modleing Poster Part 1

Computational Modleing Poster Part 2

Computational modeling katie

Get Involved
  • Teachers Developers: Starting in early 2018, we will be seeking up to 20 physics teachers interested in supporting the development and implementation of computational modeling in physics, with preference given to teachers of 8th and/or 9th grade physics.
  • Please contact rvieyra@aapt.org to express your interest. You are also welcome to complete THIS FORM -- we will contact you again in early 2018 in case you would like to revise your answers before the selection process begins.

Press Release (15 September 2016)


100Kin10 Award

Press Release (13 April 2016)


For more details and information about K12 Programs, please contact Rebecca Vieyra, K12 Program Manager, at rvieyra@aapt.org