Year 8 - Enrichment Day - Computing
In an Ivanhoe first, Year 8 students did a Computing Day, where every session was focused on developing their Computational Thinking Skills. Computational thinking allows us to take a complex problem, understand what the problem is and develop possible solutions. We can then present these solutions in a way that a computer, a human, or both, can understand.
There are four areas of Computational Thinking:
• Algorithms – Creating a set of instructions to solve a problem.
• Pattern Recognition – Looking for patterns in a problem, or for similarities between problems.
• Abstraction – Looking at problems from a different point of view.
• Decomposition – Breaking a problem into smaller, easier to solve, problems.
Students will have experienced three of six different sessions running during the day;
• Ciphers & Code Breaking – Students looked at the work of Alan Turing, looking at different types of cipher and which ones are easier to crack then others. This developed their pattern recognition skills.
• Routing & Deadlock – Students looked at how computers send information to each other in a way where they were able share information. Students also looked at what Deadlock is, the state where things (e.g. data, people, cars) are unable to progress on a journey. This required them to use abstraction and decomposition to solve real world problems.
• Human Interface Design – Students were tasked with looking at how interfaces are designed for people and were tasked with designing their interface for machines in a chocolate factory.
• Logic Puzzles – Students were tasked with developing Decomposition and Algorithmic thinking, as they solved a series of Hive Cut puzzles and Nonogram puzzles. Each puzzle requires students to think carefully about the solution.
• Computational Fairy Tales – Students were tasked with developing Abstraction, as they rewrote and represented the Computational Fairy Tales written by Jeremy Kubica. Each fairy tale, told a story where a piece of Computer Science knowledge was part of the story.
• Artificial Intelligence – Students looked at how algorithms can give the impression of Machine Intelligence, firstly by looking at a simple Noughts & Crosses AI, seeing how it could be applied to a game of SPIT, NOT, SO and then by creating their own AI to play a game of Hexapawn.
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