Class Simulation of a Computer
Note: This activity is a work in progress
This activity exposes the idea that interesting things can be achieved using a simple instruction set and components, giving an idea of the underlying architecture of the computer.
Variation: introduce a bug in the code, and see how long it takes the class to realise that things aren’t right
Variation: write some code to generate an interesting output (such as the Fibonacci series) and see if the “computer” can figure out what the program does.
Related Resources #
- Misha Leder, a Software Engineer at Google has an activity called Simulating a Computerwhere kids play main computer components – CPU, mouse, IO controller. Have them simulate calculator application by moving a mouse, synchronizing it with the mouse pointer on the screen and sending request to the processor.
- Computer Science & Engineering for K-12 has the following activities related to how computers and internet works below:
- How Computers Work Activity is an activity for 3 students to act out the various parts of a computer: CPU, ALU/Memory and Display.
- How the Internet Works Activity is an activity for a group of students to act out the various parts of the internet: websites, routers, nameservers, ISPs and home computers.