Starfire computational thinking



“In order to take advantage of what computation makes possible, we need to learn how to formulate and structure what we want the computer to do” - Steve Wolfram

Computational thinking (CT) is an approach to solving complex, open-ended problems (such as the spread of diseases, understanding climate change, and mapping the human genome) using the computing power of computers. 

While computational thinking requires understanding the capabilities of computers, CT is not the same as programming or learning how to code. Rather, CT is a set of concepts, practices, and perspectives used by computer scientists to formulate questions with enough clarity, and in a systematic enough way, such that a computer could carry out the solution. 

Computational thinking skills are relevant to many disciplines and careers and can be used to support problem-solving across all disciplines including the humanities, math, and science.

In Starfire Computational Thinking, students will: 

  • Engage with the core concepts of computational thinking (decomposition, pattern recognition, abstraction, algorithmic thinking) via real-world illustrations and everyday examples
  • Apply computational practices (e.g. divide and conquer, debugging) in hands-on projects
  • Build valuable CT problem-solving skills including:
    • using precise language
    • basing decisions on data
    • using models to understand
    • decomposing and recomposing
    • analysis and synthesis 

Starfire Teaching Methods and Curriculum

Starfire classes foster a growth mindset, grit, teamwork, and empathy in a fun, emotionally, intellectually safe and supportive learning environment. Starfire teachers’ inspire intellectual and personal growth in their students. The teachers love what they do and their passion is contagious.

What are the Starfire teacher-coaches' qualifications?

Starfire teacher-coaches are highly qualified math and engineering professionals and teachers with degrees from Stanford University, University of California and other excellent academic institutions. 

Small Class Size

The Starfire Computational Thinking classes are limited to 16 students per classroom, with no more than 8 students per teacher/coach.

Try a Class

If you would like your child to try a Starfire class, we ask that you register and pay online. If after attending two classes, you feel that the class is not the right fit for your child we will gladly issue a refund for the full cost of the remaining classes. Unfortunately we are unable to process refunds for withdrawals after the two week trial period.

Scholarships

Starfire is able to offer a limited number of scholarships intended only for students with a financial need who would not otherwise be able to participate. If your family is able to pay for after school classes, please allow others to utilize the scholarships!