Diana Franklin, Danielle Harlow

KELP CS (Kids Engaged in Learning Programming) is a new computational thinking curriculum for 4th-6th graders.

What it is

KELP CS contains a combination of FiredUp and WiredUp activities. FiredUp activities are inspired by CS Unplugged, a set of non-computer activities intended to illustrate concepts related to computing. These have been adjusted these to not only expose students, but also build critical thinking skills necessary for computational thinking. WiredUp activities are Sratch activities in the Octopi development environment. The projects are tied to subjects that are part of the standards in 3rd and 4th grades in order to enhance your existing curriculum.


The purpose of KELP CS is to teach students the critical thinking and computer skills necessary to be innovators in the 21st century. In addition, it is a vehicle for research on how upper elementary students learning computational thinking. We care not only about how much they learn, but how they learn. Therefore, we gather information on what mistakes students make, what they struggle with, and what they find easy and intuitive. This helps us to not only improve this particular curriculum, but provide insights that will help others design other curricula.

Current status

Six schools participated in our pilot in the 2013-2014 school year - Eleven 4th grade classrooms, two 5th grade classrooms, and two 6th grade classrooms. If you are an initial pilot for a local school partnered with us, we offer to provide assistance during Wired Up activities for the new curriculum.

The curriculum is at:

We are currently redesigning our infrastructure so that it will run in a browser on laptops, iPad, and chromebooks. This will be ready for fall.

Interested in joining?

We are actively recruiting classrooms for the 2014-2015 school year. Our module 1 will be a fairly polished curriculum, whereas we will be conducting the first pilot of our module 2 curriculum. Compensation is available for classrooms that go through module 2. If you are interested in using module 1 or 2, please fill out this form: KELP CS Participation Form. If you are interested in using module 1 and being part of our pilot for module 2, fill out the forms and e-mail: We will offer several free professional development days for teachers at UC Santa Barbara. You may choose between Friday, August 15th, Monday, August 18th, and Friday, August 29th. If you want to sign up to attend teacher training, please fill out this form: KELP CS Teacher Training Registration.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CNS-0940491 and CNS-1240985.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.



Diana Franklin (Computer Science))

Danielle Harlow (Education)


Hilary Dwyer (Ed)

Charlotte Hill (CS)

Stacey Carpenter (Ed)

Bryce Boe (CS)

Brynn Kiefer (CS)

David Borden (CS)

Sarah Darwiche (CS)