Lesson 3.9: Encoding and Decoding with Cups, Part 2

Learning Objectives:
In the last lesson, students learned a language for communicating information about cup stacks. In this section, we'll refine that language, and learn about how we can use functions to make our codes less repetitive.
  • Students will l earn about functions and practice implementing sample functions as well as some functions of their own.

Do Now: 

YouTube Video


Activity Part 1: Discussion

Assembly lines are a manufacturing method which add small parts together in order to create a larger final product. Originally, people worked in assembly lines putting together products. However, modern assembly lines use machines.

Are these machines computers?

Human engineers create a set of instructions for these machines, which carry out the instructions to make the product. Machines on assembly lines need to know what parts they're working with and which position and orientation to put them in.

How can we give a set of instructions to an assembly line? 

Should the instructions be given as a narrative or as a series of steps?

What kind of encoding should these instructions have?

Ultimately, machines "make decisions" based on the presence or absence of an electric signal, which can be represented with the binary digits 1 and 0. All instructions will eventually be translated into binary signals for the machine to carry out. 

Activity Part 2: Cup Coding and Functions

Activity Part 3: Cup Coding Worksheet, Part 2


Lesson 3.9 Wrap Up:
Manufacturing often takes uses repeated processes in production. 
  • How do you think functions are used in this type of factory work? 
  • Can you think of repeated steps that might be involved in making some your favorite things
  • What are some repeated patterns in some of your personal routines?
  •  Can you think of functions for those patterns?
Michelle Cernuto,
25/04/2016, 11:26
Michelle Cernuto,
25/04/2016, 11:26