Knowledge about mathematical physics models and scientific computation methods is of fundamental importance for contemporary modelling processes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Physics teaching in STEM education should thus envision the integration of learning sequences with computational physics that ensure epistemological and cognitive balance between experimentation, computation and theory, and foster the development of meaningful knowledge in physics, mathematics and scientific computation, in ways appropriate to the different STEM contexts. We discuss a teaching approach where such learning sequences involve interactive engagement activities with computational modelling designed to (1) explore various kinds of modelling, from exploratory to expressive modelling, (2) introduce scientific computation progressively without requiring prior development of a working knowledge of programming, (3) generate and resolve cognitive conflicts in the understanding of physics concepts and mathematical methods, and (4) develop performative competency in the different and complementary representations of the mathematical models of physics. To illustrate we describe a learning sequence about rotational dynamics created for introductory physics students of STEM university courses.
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