Typically completed by 10-14 year olds, students work collaboratively on a five hour project or challenge in self-managed groups. During the project, they use a CREST Discovery passport to record and reflect on their work. Afterwards, students communicate their findings as a group presentation.
Each pack provides teaching guides, kit lists, example timetables and suggested starter activities to help you run your day. Find out more about CREST Discovery Awards.
Workshop 4: Magnetism Overview and background 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 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 from multiple devices. Aim Students will work in pairs to investigate how the magnetic force is used to store information and how this has affected the development of technology. Part 1: Magnetic storage • Provide each person with the Binary Fact file. In this first part students will investigate how magnetic memory works by writing their name and other words using binary. • They will then lay out the words using magnetic and nonmagnetic materials. For example, you could provide metal washers to represent 1s and plastic discs to represent 0s. So that the students cannot see whether each represented number is a 1 or 0, you should print off copies of the adjustable grid provided (adjusted for the size of the materials you are using). At least two identical copies are required per person: one should be used as the base, the second as a cover. The number required will depend on the number of characters in the name or word. • Students are then asked to consider the physical space required to store a book with 500,000 characters using this same method. Calculators may be required. Part 2: Uses of magnetic memory Students will need access to laptops or computers to carry out internet research into the types of technology using magnetic memory and the impact miniaturisation has had. 16
You will need to provide: 1 Writing materials 2 Calculators 3 Materials for writing magnetic messages: for example, pieces of plastic and metal, with metal representing a 1 and plastic a zero, blu-tack or similar to fix the pieces to the surface, card to cover the layout (an adjustable grid has been provided), and magnets to read the words 4 Access to computers for internet research You will need to print: 1 Task sheets (1 per pair) 2 Binary table Fact file for writing words (1 per person) 3 Adjustable grid for laying out and covering binary words (1 per person) 17