What is the BRBytes study?
The BRBytes research program is currently supported by two Federal grants:
- The BRBytes Researcher-Practitioner Partnership - National Science Foundation
- A Modern Approach to the Integration of Programming and Mathematics - US Dept. of Education
Participating in the USDOE Research
The US Dept. of Education granted LSU $4M to study the impact of Computational Thinking in the learning of Mathematics. If successful, this study will inform development of future courses nationwide that integrate the two subjects. This is a high-stakes study with possible long term benefits.
- Offer the BRBytes Sequence in your course catalog for at least 2 years
- Recruit 2 teachers to teach the BRBytes courses
- Designate 1 counselor as point of contact
- Enroll between 20% and 50% of students who are taking Algebra I to take a BRBytes course concurrently
To participate in the study,
Suggested language to include in your recruitment pamphlets, course request forms and other student or parent facing materials:
"BRBytes Sequence: This is a unique course pairing offered in our school, which provides students the opportunity to take two courses: Introduction to Computational Thinking and another introductory LSU STEM Pathways course. Students who join the sequence will take one of the courses the first year and the other course in the following year. The two courses focus on essential STEM skills that are appropriate either for career technical education or for college preparation. "
The BRBytes Sequence
The BRBytes Sequence is two-year, two-course sequence containing:
- Introduction to Computational Thinking, and
- An LSU STEM Pathways course that counts as a BRBytes elective.
Depending on what each school offers, the options are:
- Introduction to Engineering Design
- Introduction to Biomedical Sciences, or
- Survey of Computer Science
All students will be able to take both courses, but the order in which each student takes each course will be determined by a coin flip. Students and parents will be informed that the course sequence is two years and that students will be assigned to each individual course by the school.
The sequence begins the year the student takes Algebra I. All the participating students will be divided into 2 groups, and the courses that the student takes will depend on which group the student is in, as the following tables illustrate:
Counselors will receive a $450 stipend per year for participating.
- Help recruit students for the study
- Coordinate with our team to assign participating students to the courses
- Track BRBytes students in their progression
- About 30 minutes once a month needed for above work
- In addition, they will need:
- Half a day during the recruitment period to coordinate enrollment with the BRBytes team
- Half a day before final scheduling (typically July/August) for schedule review of BRBytes students
Teachers will receive a $4,100 stipend1 per year for participating.
- Commit to teach BRBytes courses for at least 2 years
- Attend the 5-week virtual summer training institute for the BRBytes courses
- Participate in monthly Community of Practice sessions
- Agree to on-site follow-up for two years
- Maintain an open line of communication with the LSU Computing Pathway staff
1: The stipend is subject to state-mandated deductions.