The Dancing Alice Project: Computational & Embodied Arts Research in Middle School Education

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Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts


The Dancing Alice Project, our pilot research study, drives our inquiry of computational thinking. In this research project, we have developed and piloted a method for blending dance and computer programming as a novel and embodied way to engage middle school children with computational thinking. Our goal is that students approach programming as an active, physical task, as they engage with the content they develop. In the Dancing Alice Project, we developed an environment on top of the current computer-programming platform called Alice, created by Carnegie Mellon, to introduce students to the computer programming language Java™. Alice has a drag and drop interface that enables students to program without having to learn the syntax that prevents many students from engaging with computer science.