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[Discuss] OT Volunteering for School Presentations

I did two 20-minute presentations for my daughter's elementary school class
on computer programming. They have a "Science And Engineering Week" where
parents are encouraged to come into class and make presentations.

In the first one, I explained zeroes and ones (calling them
"lightswitches"), how they are stored in RAM (rows of lightswitches), how
certain sequences of 0&1 represent instructions (like a secret code), and
how the CPU is just a dumb lightswitch-flipper. At the end, they wrote
their names in binary.

In the second, I demonstrated the Logo programming language and drew some
spirograph-like pictures.  In one magic moment, one of the children deduced
the need for loops ("Instead of writing the same instruction 10 times, can
you just say, 'Do this ten times'?") In third grade!

It was really fun and the kids loved it.

Dan Barrett
dbarrett at

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