Typically completed by 10-14 year olds (Key Stages 2 and 3), students work collaboratively on a five hour project or challenge in self-managed groups. They record and reflect on their work during the project, using a CREST Discovery passport, and communicate their findings as a group presentation.
Each pack below provides teaching guides, kit lists, example timetables and suggested starter activities to help you run your day. Find out more about this level on the Discovery page .
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Magnetism Task sheet Information can be stored by adding a magnetic property to a material; for example credit cards store information on a magnetic strip, and hard drives work by adding a magnetic property to a metal disc. This magnetism allows us to store information as a 1 or 0. A string of eight 1s and 0s can then be used to represent letters, numbers and other characters. This is known as binary code, and using it you can write ‘a’ as 01100001 and ‘A’ as 01000001. Through this use of magnetism, miniaturisation of computer hard drives has been made possible. This has meant the development of a wide range of technologies, including phones, tablets, and also cloud storage, where your data is stored remotely and you can access it on multiple devices. Aim Working in pairs, the aim of this workshop is to investigate how magnetic force is used to store information, and how it has affected the development of technology. Part 1: Magnetic storage 1 Using the table provided write your first name in binary. 2 Choose another word to write in binary, but keep it secret from your partner. Using the materials provided, lay out your word in binary. If the material is magnetic (a magnet will stick to it) it represents a 1. If it is non-magnetic (a magnet won’t stick to it) it a 0. Fix the items to the table so that they don’t move. You can use blu-tack or something similar for this. Cover your word using the card provided. Your partner should read it with a magnet and write down your original word. 3 Swap over and try to decode your partner’s word.
4 Our devices store large amounts of information. If a book containing 500,000 characters is to be stored on a device, how many 1s and 0s are needed in total? 5 Using the materials in your earlier task, measure how large the pieces are that represent the 1s and 0s. How much physical space would you need to lay out the 500,000 character book? What is the actual size of a hard drive you would find in a normal computer? Part 2: Uses of magnetic memory 6 Using the internet, research the different devices that use a hard drive. Make a list based on what you find. Looking back 10, 20 or 30 years, were any of these devices originally bigger? If they have become smaller, has this changed the way they have been used? 7 What is cloud computing? Is this used in your school? Are there ways in which this could enrich the classroom?