Developing K-12 students’ computational thinking (CT) skills is essential. Building on the existing literature that has emphasized programming skill development, this study expands the focus to examine students’ use of underlying CT cognitive skills during collaborative problem-solving processes. A case study approach was employed to examine video data of 5th graders engaging in an integrated-STEM robotics curriculum. The findings reveal that students applied algorithmic thinking most frequently and prediction the least. They recorded most debugging behaviors initially in the problem-solving process, but after accumulating more experiences their uses of other CT skills, including algorithmic thinking, pattern recognition, and prediction, increased. Implications for developing young learners’ CT skills to solve real-world problems are discussed.

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Declaration Statement

Authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. This study has been approved by the IRB of the University of Georgia (IRB Approval #: 000001432) and informed consent was obtained from all participants in the study. The datasets used in this study are unavailable due to privacy and data protection concerns.