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As computing has become integral to the practice of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM+Computing program seeks to address emerging challenges in computational STEM areas through the applied integration of computational thinking and computing activities within STEM teaching and learning in early childhood education through high school (preK-12). This project develops a Scaffolded Training Environment for Physics Programming (STEPP) in which students learn physics and cultivate Computational Thinking (CT) skills through state-based modeling by creating their own simulation tools. Finite State Machines (FSMs) are a method for state-based modeling and have been used to design algorithms and teach programming and engineering. The Unity game engine with Playmaker plug-in will serve as the platform for STEPP because of the low threshold for prior programming experience, the high ceiling for learning potentials, and the transferability to other applications.

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