Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of how computers represent colors in digital images to design a program that monitors visual changes in an ecosystem. Pairs well with Engineering Essentials: Cleaning an Oil Spill.

  • Grade 5
  • Setting: In school
  • Computer Science focus: Data and Analysis
  • Technology: Scratch
  • 5 lessons (8 class sessions)
  • Optional Math Extension: Multiplying Decimals

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each Computer Science Essentials unit with careful attention to educational standards in computer science, technology and engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students explore foundational concepts related to solving problems with computers. (50–60 min.)
The class reads a story in which Tehya’s photos are used to count salmon nests in the Elwha River after the dam is removed. Students also explore coding and decoding images stored as pixels. (50–70 min., 2 sessions)
Students investigate how to use the website Scratch as a tool for analyzing images. (90–120 min., 2 sessions)
Students create a Scratch program to analyze digital images. (45–60 min.)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, and improve a computer game that builds players’ understanding of an environmental issue. (90–120 min., 2 sessions)
Students extend their computational thinking skills to mathematical concepts as they practice strategies for multiplying decimals. (50–70 min.)

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Storybook (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Teacher Slides (Google Slides and PDFs)
  • Additional Resources