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Hexahexaflexagon

This presentation, from Paul Curzon at QMUL, uses a folded paper geometric shape called a hexahexaflexagon to teach about abstraction, data representation and graph data structures, while encouraging computational thinking. A video (linked from within the presentation) shows how to make one of the geometrical...

What Can We See From Space?

This short activity introduces students to the ideas of the footprint and resolution of an image, asking them to choose and use appropriate methods to calculate how these quantities would change as they moved a camera to a series of vantage points above the surface of the Earth

Automatic Lighting

This longer-duration activity involves prototyping a low-power lighting system. It could be used in an off-timetable workshop or across a series of lessons.

Students are challenged to work through the whole design process, and to place a micro-controller (in this case a BBC micro:bit) at the centre of the...

Bag Alarm

This activity, suitable for a multi-lesson sequence or a single extended session, challenges students to design and prototype a simple motion-sensing alarm. The device is intended to prevent theft or the accidental picking-up of a bag.

Motion is sensed using the accelerometer built-in to the BBC micro:bit,...

Flood Warning System

After learning about flooding, students consider the design problems caused by its early detection. Students are introduced to moisture sensors, and can build their own using the instructions provided or use a ready-made version. This is connected to the BBC micro:bit and used as an input device. After processing...

History of Computers

This classroom resource for secondary computing lessons outlines the history of development of computers. It covers thousands of years of history, including: *the abacus *log tables *the calculators of Pascal and Leibnitz *Jacquard looms *Babbage's Difference Engine and Lady Ada's role in programming *through...

Python

This series of three lessons introduces Python programming to students in secondary school.

The lesson objectives include:

*Creating simple code including the input and print scripts

*Using "If statements" to make a decision

*Using the random function in programs

Detailed lesson...

Data Representation: Bitmap Images

Using a spreadsheet as a grid of 'pixels', this computing activity teachers how 1's and 0's can store image data. The classroom exercises use images with increasing pixel resolution, looking at how this affects the clarity of the image. Moving from black-and-white images, the students then use grids of colour...

The First Programmable System

In this activity students explore why a water clock was the world's first programmable system. Programmable systems are by no means a modern invention. Many regard the first to be Ktesibios's water clock, which was invented approximately 2250 years ago.

The aim of this activity is that students apply what...

Writing a Flowchart

This engineering activity, suitable for children in computing lessons, looks at the basics of flowchart construction.

Simple examples, such as the decisions made by a dog chasing a stick, are used to make flowchart representation of algorithms accessible to younger children.

A simple design activity...

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