Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum

Computer Science-in-a-Box

Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum introduces fundamental building blocks of computer science -- without using computers. Use it with students ages 9 to 14 to teach lessons about how computers work, while addressing critical mathematics and science concepts such as number systems, algorithms, and manipulating variables and logic. NCWIT is pleased to offer Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum in cooperation with the authors of Computer Science Unplugged. So unplug your computer, and get ready to explore computer science!

Computers are everywhere. But how many of us understand how they work, or how they think? Computer science explores these questions. Every student can benefit from an introduction to the science that is possibly most central to their lives -- computer science.

Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum introduces fundamental building blocks of computer science -- without using computers. This selection of activities is designed for use with students ages 9 to 14. Use Computer Science-in-a-Box: Unplug Your Curriculum to teach lessons that explain how computers work, and at the same time, address critical mathematics and science concepts from number systems and algorithms to manipulating variables and logic.

Presenting these activities to your students will allow them to:

  • Understand how zeros and ones can be used to represent information such as digital images and numbers
  • Understand fundamental ideas of logic and apply logic to solve problems, such as sorting information into useful order quickly
  • Develop an understanding of algorithms that goes beyond basic operations of arithmetic

You don't have to be a computer expert to enjoy learning these principles with your students. Answers to all problems are provided, and each activity ends with a "what's it all about?" section that explains the relevance of the activities. To help you get ready, the authors have created videos of some of the activities in action. Use the links below to view the videos:

Computer Science Unplugged, the curriculum from which these materials are excerpted, was created by Tim Bell, Ian H. Witten, and Mike Fellows, and was illustrated by Matt Powell. This material is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license, which means you are free to copy, distribute, and display the book provided you make no changes to the content (including the attribution to the authors and these license terms); you may not use the book for commercial purposes, and you may not alter, transform, or build upon this work.

Release Date: May 8, 2008
Audience(s): K-12
Short URL:www.ncwit.org/unplugged