Break It Down

Staff Development Guide

Training situation: Training (large group)
Length: 120 minutes

Objectives: Participants will learn how breaking problems into smaller, manageable parts is key to computational thinking and building this skill.


  • Welcome and introduction – 5 minutes
  • See the skill in action – 5 minutes
  • Practicing computational thinking – 25 minutes
  • Process the experience with a gallery walk – 10 minutes
  • See the skill in action – 10 minutes
    • Break It Down video-based learning module
  • Using a graphic organizer – 10 minutes
  • Engage in active learning at the computers – 40 minutes
  • Process the experience – 10 minutes
  • Conclusion – 5 minutes

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Video-Based Learning Modules

As you watch the skill video below, think about these questions:

  • Who is doing the problem-solving in this activity, the facilitator or the learners?
  • What questions does Dagen use to encourage and support active learning?
  • How do you know if youth are engaged in active learning?

Now that you’ve watched the video, reflect on what you saw and post your responses.

  • How do the computational thinking practices support active learning?
  • How could you support active learning with the youth you work with?
  • What are the benefits to youth when they are engaged in active STEM learning?

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