Computer networks are based on passing messages from computer to computer. This sounds simple in principle, but in practice all sorts of contention and bottlenecks can occur.
This activity gives some first hand experience of such issues, with a game for a group of students.
Activity description (PDF)
- Instructions for Routing and Deadlock activity (English)
- Italian Language Version
- French language Version
- German Language Version
- Greek Language Version
- Portugese (Brazil) Language Version
- Polish Language Version
- Hungarian Language Version
- Slovenian Language Translation
- An older version of this activity can be downloaded in PDF format here. The content is similar to the current version, but there’s some extra technical information.
- More activities and lessons:
- National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has a learning package called Unplugged in a Box which has detailed lesson plan of the “Orange Game” activity.
- [Flash player required] Hiroki Manabe has created a Flash animation version of The Orange Game.
- Misha Leder, a Software Engineer at Google has an activity called Message Routing which can be a nice extension activity. Internet works this way – computer networks are connected with each other via routers. Have kids sit at several tables, every child being a server. Have representatives for each tables to act as routers. Kids write messages to each other and routers help routing this messages.
- eGFI-K12 has a complete lesson plans with a maths flavour Traffic Flow. Designed for advanced high-school algebra students, it can be worked out most easily using Microsoft Excel. Explore traffic engineering further with a competition developed at the University of Toronto, an animated diagram, and a game called Gridlock Buster.
- The Mathmaniacs web site has a similar activity (lesson 16)
- If you want to find out more:
- Additional resources:
- Mordechai (Moti) Ben-Ari from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel has programmed the Routing and Deadlock Unplugged activity in Scratch which can be downloaded in a zip file of the complete set of activities. Please read the ReadMe.txt for documentation.
- Video: Warriors of the Net? is an engaging short animated film that shows how packets move around the Internet
Great Principles of Computer Science [info]
ACM K12 Curriculum [info]Expand
- Level I (Grades 3-5) Topic 11: develop a simple understanding of an algorithm
New Zealand Curriculum [info]Expand
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