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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 requires...

Heart Rate Monitor

In this challenge, students are asked to consider the impact of people suffering from heart conditions, both to the individual and to wider society. They then generate ideas for using programmable systems to improve people’s health, and to monitor themselves. A video introduces the idea of a heart rate monitor, and...

Home energy

Reducing energy usage in the home saves money, increases energy security and reduces the need to burn unsustainable fossil fuels. The first step in doing this is monitoring how much energy is...

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...

Classroom Sound Monitor

This cross curricular activity includes science content from Year Four of the primary curriculum. It introduces programming and control, linked to the outside world through sensors - in this case, the computer's built-in microphone or a peripheral microphone. Programs are written using Scratch (online or offline)...

Dinosaur Fossil Animation Sequence Activity

This Barefoot Computing animation project for primary school computing teaches the concept of sequencing within programs. Children use costumes and a range of commands in Scratch to produce purposeful multimedia. They are encouraged to debug and improve the program, and...

Crazy Graphics

This workshop investigates how images are stored as data, and shows the difference that ‘bit depth’ makes to the quality of images and number of colours. It begins by looking at paintings and how, using only paint, images were difficult to edit – however digital images are much easier. Pupils with access to photo...

Network Hunt

Using the school network as a learning resource, this Barefoot Computing resource for primary schools introduces networked devices and the hardware infrastructure used to connect them. Children carry out a ‘treasure hunt’, searching for common networked devices such as switches, servers and printers. After mapping...

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...

Making story books interactive with physical computing

Combine Makey Makey and Scratch in this storybook programming activity. These resources show pupils how to make a simple four-page story book, with buttons to press for sounds, coded through Scratch.

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