AgentSheets teaches thinking skills

Alexander Repenning wants kids to like science. So, after more than a decade of research on human-computer interaction, end-user programming, and simulation tools at the University of Colorado Boulder, the computer science professor launched AgentSheets in 1996.

Since then, more than 100,000 students, mostly middle-schoolers, have benefited from the company’s educational applications, which encourage youth to use computational thinking in areas they like, such as game design. “We want them to learn that science is not boring, to say: ‘I can do this,'” Repenning said.

The six-person company continues to grow, selling its products around the globe from Brazil to Japan, and signing up diverse clients, such as universities, NASA and the U.S. Army. With former students on staff and support from the National Science Foundation, Repenning predicts more growth as the company develops new tools and technologies.

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