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Scalable Game Design and the Development of a Checklist for Getting Computational Thinking into Public Schools Alexander Repenning David Webb Andri Ioannidou University of Colorado Computer Science Department Boulder 80309 430 1 303 492 1349 ralex cs colorado edu University of Colorado School of Education Boulder 80309 1 303 492 0306 dcwebb colorado edu AgentSheets Inc 6560 Gunpark Drive Boulder CO 80301 USA 1 303 530 1773 andri agentsheets com ABSTRACT Game design appears to be a promising approach to interest K 12 students in Computer Science Unfortunately balancing motivational and educational concerns is truly challenging Over a number of years we have explored how to achieve a functional balance by creating a curriculum that combines increasingly complex game designs computational thinking patterns and authoring tools Scalable Game Design is a research project exploring new strategies of how to scale up from after school and summer programs into required curriculum of public schools through game design approaches The project includes inner city schools remote rural areas and Native American communities A requirement checklist of computational thinking tools regarding curriculum teacher training standards and authoring tools has been developed and is being tested with thousands of students Categories and Subject Descriptors K 3 2 Computer and Information Science Education General Terms Design Human Factors Languages Keywords Game design computational thinking computational science 1 INTRODUCTION THE SCALABLE GAME DESIGN INITIATIVE Scalable Game Design is an initiative with the goal to expand opportunities to motivate engage and educate students about Computer Science through game design starting at the middle school level For over 15 years funded mainly by the National Science Foundation NSF we have carried out investigations on new approaches to programming resulting in game and simulation authoring systems such as AgentSheets 1 2 and AgentCubes 3 While the

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