A Computational Thinking Initiative for Primary and Second Level Education

The PACT programme is a partnership between researchers in Maynooth University's Department of Computer Science and teachers at primary and post primary schools around Ireland. Our overall goal is to develop a primary and secondary level curriculum for computational thinking which moves beyond programming and algorithms.  

Computational Thinking is about combining the creativity of human thinking with the power of computing machines to solve problems across a range of disciplines. The focus is not on learning facts about computers but on developing creative ideas and solutions to real-world problems. This develops a core skill which is crucial to a range of 21st century careers, such as information technology, physics, finance, engineering and bioinformatics.

Since 2013, over 100 teachers and approximately 1000 students have taken part in our activities.   
These include weekly Bebras challenges circulated to teachers for use in the classroom; workshops on teaching Computational Thinking; a Computational Thinking module for transition year students; and related activities at Coder Dojos and Science Week. Our promotion of Bebras problems as a means to introduce students to computational thinking, has resulting in us hosting the annual Bebras International Computational Thinking Challenge (Ireland).

We have been working with a number of “champion teachers” to develop a Community of Practice to promote and develop a community of like-minded individuals. If you would be interested in becoming involved with the PACT initiative please contact us at: pact@cs.nuim.ie. Further information is available at pact.cs.nuim.ie.