My research expands our understanding of CS education in the context of physical computing. Specifically I examine how the tools used when creating physical computing projects affect how students work and learn. Using distributed cognition (DCog) within a classroom environment, I will investigate the effect that information representation has on students’ conceptions of CS and electronics. These explorations will be complemented by an application of cognitive load theory (CLT) to understand the difficulty of physical computing tasks and the effect tools have on the load students experience. Completion of this work will uncover mistakes and misconceptions students have in physical computing and highlight ways to effectively design tools for novice learners.