Computer Networks for Kids: the Telephone Game with a STEM twist!

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Career In STEM
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  1. Help prepare the next generation of computer scientists while incorporating computational thinking as required by the NGSS. This Intro to Computer Science Bundle is a must have for any upper elementary or early middle school teacher, complete with a variety of introductory resources to get started w
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How do computers talk to each other? In this activity, students will use the classic telephone game with cups and string to represent how computers talk to each other in a network. Purchase includes:

1. 5E in-person lesson plan spanning 15 to 30 minutes

2. telephone game materials list and directions

3. for UPPER ELEMENTARY students, link to online IT Specialist career exploration resources including day in the life virtual job shadow video and downloadable career information sheet in English and Spanish

Perfect as part of your technology or computer course, a science center, technology or computer science activity, or fun activity to try at home with kids! This resource works best with in-person learning.

Directly aligned with NGSS 1-PS4-4 but fun and flexible for all elementary age students.

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Total Pages
3 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance. Examples of devices could include a light source to send signals, paper cup and string "telephones," and a pattern of drum beats. Assessment does not include technological details for how communication devices work.


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