Growing Up Thinking Scientifically

projectguts.pngProject GUTS-Growing Up Thinking Scientifically is an afterschool program for middle school students designed to introduce computer programming and computational thinking skills. Students get an in-depth look at complex systems, models and simulation, and learn to create computer models from scratch. Students engage in problem solving and mathematical thinking at each club meeting. Project GUTS helps students prepare for exciting careers in science, technology, and engineering by developing their computer skills and giving them access to the latest technology.


Our Goals

  • Learn to look at the world and ask questions
  • Prepare students for future endeavous in STEM and computing fields
  • Develop answers to the questions through scientific inquiry, and design solutions to their problems.

Project GUTS Modules

The STEM Outreach Center embraces student exposure to computational thinking. The curriculum and simulation software ( Starlogo Nova) used in Project GUTS are designed by the MIT Scheller Teacher Education Program.

The STEM Outreach Center adapts the curriculum to meet LCPS and GISD core standards. We invite and welcome teachers to support our goals and become computational thinkers who will offer computational thinking opportunities for their students.

View Instructor Handbook

For more on Project GUTS, see their website or visit their resource page. Participants can go on to participate in the annual Supercomputing Challenge.

Module 1

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Module 1 introduces students to modeling and simulation. Students learn the basics of computational thinking, Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), and are introduced to the simulation software - Starlogo Nova.


Module 2

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Students engage in discussion about water resources and group decision making. New Mexico tends to have long periods of droughts and inconsistent precipitation. This module helps students understand the importance of water conservation in their community. 

Module 3

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Module 3 dives deeper into Ecosystems. Students have the opportunity to design their own ecosystem projects and investigate the impact organisms have on ecosystems.


Module 4

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This Physical Science module explores chemical reactions: the conditions under which they occur, the evidence that a chemical reaction has taken place, limiting reactants versus reactants in excess, and when chemical reactions stop.