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Swap Puzzle

Using a set of simple ‘swap puzzles’, this CS4FN activity helps students to learn, fundamentally, what an algorithm is and how they can be made more efficient. Students are encouraged to create algorithms for solving the puzzles which can be used by future players to win, with no understanding of the game, in as...

Australian Magician's Dream

Made up of two complementary activities, these resources from the CS4FN team go deeper into theory about search algorithms.

The first activity involves the teacher leading a magic trick using some normal playing cards. In the subsequent explanation of the trick, students are asked to consider the pseudocode...

Box Variables

This unplugged activity, from the CS4FN team at Queen Mary University of London, helps learners to understand variable assignment and operations. They use the idea of variables as boxes as the basis of a group activity, developing their use of logical thinking to trace variables through programs.

The...

Brain in a Bag

This unplugged activity from Peter McOwan and Paul Curzon mingles computer science with biology. A group activity is used that mimics the firing of neurons within the brain. These trigger other neurons to fire – these can be compared to AND gates in logic circuits.

The ‘brain in a bag’ kits used in the...

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...

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...

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