116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Computers use coding to get instructions and do the things they do.
Have you ever seen the inside of a computer? Wires carry information through the machine in the form of electricity. The two options that a computer uses with respect to this electrical information are 'off' and 'on.' When computers represent information using only two options, it's called binary. Computers also store information using binary.
Binary is extremely important in the computer world. The majority of computers today store all sorts of information in binary form. This lesson demonstrates how it is possible to take something that we know and translate it into a series of owns and offs.
You can convert letters into binary by using two colors of beads to represent the 'ons' and 'offs.' Use the key below to create your name in binary code and even turn it into a bracelet you can wear.
• Two different colors of beads
• String or pipe cleaner
1. Use string and beads to create your initials or your full name in binary code using the key included. (If you don't have black and white beads, choose a color to represent each.)
2. Find the first letter in the Binary Decoder Key. Use your two colors of beads to represent that letter. For example, if your name starts with the letter A, put one black, one white, five black and one white.
3. Shape it into a bracelet to wear or a keychain. Enjoy!
When you're finished coding, reflect:
• How else might you represent binary?
• Why do you think binary code is so useful?
• What was your favorite part of this activity?
Source materials: Code.org's Unplugged Activity: Binary Bracelets.
To get your child involved in fun learning opportunities, check out the affordable, in-person 4-H Day Camps scheduled throughout Linn County from June to August. Designed for grades kindergarten through sixth, each daylong camp costs $20, and financial assistance is available. Learn more at www.extension.iastate.edu/linn/content/4h-day-camps.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Linn County helps build a strong Iowa by engaging Iowans in research, education, and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges. The 4-H Youth Development program empowers youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences. Linn County Extension Office website: www.extension.iastate.edu/linn.