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The Intelligent Piece of Paper

In this activity from the CS4FN team, learners are introduced to algorithms in the context of artificial intelligence. They are challenged to beat a ‘piece of paper’ at a game of noughts and crosses. By following a simple algorithm, the piece of paper becomes very difficult to beat. The algorithm is a sequence of...

Inputs and Outputs of Design

Using the context of the Nintendo Wii, this starter activity develops an understanding of the terms system, input, process, output and signal, and asks students to identify these features in some common products which are shown in the presentation.

The activity, from the Institution of Engineering and...

Computer Games vs Sport

The activity allows the students to explore social, ethical, economic and health issues relating to the use of Nintendo Wii compared to doing real sports and present their findings in a persuasive, coherent and focused argument. Students identify arguments for and against the topic, researching information needed...

The Imp Computer

This unplugged activity from the CS4FN team uses two examples – an insulting computer and one that can play snap – to look at simple computer programming, flow of control and logic. Everything is provided for this front-of-class activity, which would act as an effective starter for a lesson on programming concepts...

Invisible Palming

This activity from the Computer Science for Fun (CS4FN) team at QMUL is an introduction to algorithms suitable for those in upper primary school. A ‘self-working’ magic trick is shown – this is a trick that works every time, as long as the process is followed exactly. No understanding of the trick is needed by the...

Locked in Syndrome

These paired activities, from Paul Curzon of the CS4FN team, offer an interesting slant on search algorithms and their relative efficiency.

Students are asked to consider sufferers of ‘locked-in syndrome’, a condition that leaves a healthy mind inside body that is, often, completely paralysed. If the...

Red Black Mind Meld

This magic trick from the Computer Science for Fun (CS4FN) team at QMUL is based on a ‘self-working trick’. It includes a set of instructions which, so long as the commands are followed, works every time. It is, therefore, an algorithm.

The trick involves playing cards – the actual value of the cards is not...

Spit-Not-So

This activity from the CS4FN team at QMUL is a metaphorical introduction to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), graphical user interfaces (GUIs) and the difficulties of working at the command line.

The whole-class activity uses a game called spit-not-so. The winner of the game is the first to choose, from a...

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...

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