Computer Science Unplugged

Computer Science Unplugged is a collection of twenty activities designed to aid the teaching and learning of computer science through engaging games and puzzles using cards, string, crayons and lots of running around. The activities introduce students to many of the underlying concepts separated from the distractions and technical details we usually see with computers. This collection of Computer Science Unplugged resources is aimed at upper primary and lower secondary school aged students but is suitable for people of all ages and has been used around the world for many years.



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You Can Say That Again! - Text Compression

Computers only have a limited amount of space to hold information, so they need to represent information as efficiently as possible. This is called compression. By coding data before it is stored, and decoding it when it is retrieved, the computer can store more data, or send it faster through the Internet. This...

Card Flip Magic - Error Detection

When data is stored on a disk or transmitted from one computer to another, it is usually assumed that it doesn’t get changed in the process. But sometimes things go wrong and the data is changed accidentally. This activity uses a magic trick to show how to detect when data has been corrupted, and how to correct it...

Count the Dots - Binary Numbers

Data in computers is stored and transmitted as a series of zeros and ones. In this activity students explore how words and numbers can be represented using just these two symbols. This resource includes ideas teachers can use to introduce the topic in order to develop understanding of the binary system followed by...

Twenty Guesses - Information Theory

This resource asks the question ‘How much information is there in a thousand page book?’ It continues by exploring how to estimate how much space is needed to store the information and introduces a way of measuring information content. The resource begins by discussing what is meant by information and how amounts...


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