Christmas Computing

Here are some christmas-linked unplugged computing ideas.

Do a Christmas Pixel Puzzle Picture

  • Do our Christmas pixel puzzle to learn about how images are represented in a christmaspixelpuzzlecomputer and practice numbers while enjoying colouring. Then have the class create their own. Colouring them in relieves Christmas stress too!

Write a christmas card writer

Create your own unplugged christmas card writing algorithm and learn about creative programs and some english grammar. (Or write a love letter program or perhaps even combine thetwo.)

Christmas Doodle Art

ChristmasTreeSolution.jpgFollow our doodle art algorithms to draw Christmas trees and snowflakes, while exploring recursion and how it is built in to natural processes and is a way to create computer generated images.

  • Create your own doodle art algorithms with a
    christmas theme. Can you create an algorithm that makes a more realistic Christmas tree?

Recursive Wrappingrecursivewrappingsolution

Follow our  recursive wrapping doodle art algorithm to wrap a present using old bits of wrapping paper cut in to squares and joined together to make a patchwork. Will you ever manage to fill the last little gaps?

Christmas Paper Halving

Surrounded by half torn christmas paper on christmas day? Try this (trivial!) paper folding challenge and learn about divide and conquer. Take the biggest, thinnest piece of paper you can find. Repeatedly fold the paper in half just 10 times.

Christmas Kriss-Kross Puzzle

  • Solve our christmas-linked word puzzle as a way to develop logical thinking and pattern matching skills needed to enjoy both computing and maths, while practicing spelling and counting.krisskrosschristmas.jpg
  • Have the class create their own Christmas Kriss-Kross (e.g. with nativity-linked words or snowy-day linked words). Having created it they need to make sure it is solvable.

Hexaflaxagon Christmas Cards

  • Create big hexaflexagons and decorate them as christmas cards. Hexaflaxagons are magical, mathematical folded paper puzzles that have hidden sides that appear and disappear as you fold and unfold them. Put christmas pictures on some sides and messages on others. Create a graph-based map of your christmas card to allow you to keep track of what is where. Give it to the recipient in a sealed envelope as the ‘solution’ to the puzzle showing how to find all the messages.

Christmas Vector Drawing PuzzlesVectorChristmasTree.jpg

  • Follow the instructions to create pictures from shapes and learn about vector graphics. Then create your own drawings. Learn a practical use of the maths of scaling.

Program an Emotional Elf

  • Create emotional elf, snowman or father christmas  robots that you can program to change the emotions on. Use our emotional robot cards as a template to have the class draw their own face pictures with the slots in the same places. Then program the face by pulling the eye, mouth and nose strips to different settings. Perhaps even use them in a puppet show where their expressions change at appropriate points as directed by a script.

The disappearing snowman or christmas tree magic jigsaw

  • Follow our algorithm to make your own magic jigsaw trick for christmas. Give it a christmas theme by making a snowman or christmas tree disappear (we made a robot disappear but it could be anything). You need patience and an eye for detail – as do all computer scientists.
  • Or just give our teleporting robot magic jigsaw away as a puzzling present. It will keep everyone out of mischief for a while. Tell them to follow the algorithm and then tell you which robot disappears.

Play a Victorian Parlour Game out of Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol”

  • In “A Christmas Carol” Scrooge’s nephew’s family play parlour games including “Yes/No” which is a variation of 20 Questions so why not play a game, thinking about what makes a perfect question, and why 20 questions should be enough.

A Magic of Computer Science Magic Show

  • Put on a christmas computational thinking magic show (either yourself or get students keen on magic to do the tricks). Pick some simple computer science methods to give after each magic trick, such as what an algorithm is or the fact that misdirection is so powerful shows why interfaces must be so carefully designed.

More ideas to come. Watch this space (of follow @cs4fn on Twitter).