This study designs and implements interdisciplinary STEM instruction by adopting modelling-based physics programming, and explores its effectiveness on learning. A quasi-experimental study was conducted. The experimental group wrote programs to solve physics problems by following the modelling process, while the control group solved general problems without specific guidance. The findings show that the STEM group performed better on both programming and physics achievements, and had higher self-efficacy on modelling. The STEM group benefited from the modelling-based instruction and could formulate the problems to a more effective representation for problem solving (abstraction), and also could transfer the solution to more accurate code (coding), both of which contributed to programming ability. Through the modelling process for physics simulation, physics programming also improved students’ understanding of difficult physics concepts.
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