Activity #5

Binary Counting

Activity Type: drama

Discipline: intermed

Area: computer hardware

To teach binary counting, and carry in binary counting

Time needed (estimate): 10 minutes

Have a set of students stand in a row holding cards that have a zero on one side and a one on the other. They all begin by showing a zero. They are instructed that whenever they turn their card from showing a one to a zero they nudge the person on their right. They are also told that when ever they are nudged they should turn their card. The student at the right end (as you face them) is told to flip the card when ever you tell him/her to do so.

Now, as you tell the student to flip his/her card, what the class will see is the binary number in front of them slowly increase through its values.

Materials needed: a set of cards with zeros and ones

Submitted by Dianne Martin, Liz Adams, Christine Mangnall (SIGCSE 97) on Wednesday, August 27, 1997 at 16:05:19 EDT/EST.

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