YES Computer Science

YES Computer Science

Engineers use computational tools to solve problems and while doing so apply their knowledge of computer science (CS) to use the tools appropriately and effectively. Students engaged in engineering benefit from learning when the use of a computer may enhance their engineered product, how to provide instructions to a computer, and how to understand the limitations of computational tools.

YES Middle School connects engineering and CS. Two CS modules accompany each engineering unit. Many modules leverage free MATLAB interactives from MathWorks. Students deepen and extend their understanding of the engineering topic by using computational thinking, tools, and practices to solve problems.

The YES team has identified key principles for effective use of CS in engineering. These describe why it is important for engineers to think computationally and for students to learn to think in this way.

YES Computer Science Framework

computer science graphic

Increase efficiency and accuracy: Engineers use computational tools to solve engineering problems more efficiently and accurately.  

Generate and use algorithms: Engineers must interact with computational tools in a knowledgeable way—understanding the algorithm, or instructions, the computer is executing to carry out the task and knowing how to generate new or augment existing algorithms.  

Recognize social context: Engineers must recognize the human and socially embedded nature of computational tools and the biases that may exist in the tool itself or in the application and interpretation of the tool and its output.  

YES focuses on four categories of computational tools engineers use:  

  • data visualizations 
  • models of processes and procedures 
  • simulations of events, functions, and mathematical relationships; and  
  • automation of data collection, analyses, and representations.