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ActivitiesTry This at Home - Sep 06, 2013

CS Unplugged - Computer Science without cords

We use computers every day, but how the machine actually works is a mystery for the most of us. CS Unplugged offers fun ways to teach and learn computer science, without a computer.

Videos: csunplugged.org (Youtube).

Almost like magic, reasoning with binary. “The binary number system plays a central role in how information of all kinds is stored on computers. Understanding binary can lift a lot of the mystery from computers, because at a fundamental level they’re really just machines for flipping binary digits on and off.”

CS Unplugged introduces fun ways to learn the rudiments of computer science, without a computer. All you need, for example, is a bunch of friends, and stack of cards with binary numbers – 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32… By flipping the cards so that the number is visible or isn’t the card gets the value of 1 or 0, and the string of cards forms a code with a message.

In addition, binaries can be thought of through multiple every-day examples. If you had candles with binary numbers, what kind and how many would you need for your birthday?

The computer represents the information in form of images, built pixel by pixel on the screen. Also this can be demonstrated in the CS Unplugged style (see video above).

More information and activities can be found at: csunplugged.org