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Computer science is the general study of computers. It covers essential concepts such as algorithms, programming, data structures, design, architecture and more. Computational thinking is the foundation of this discipline, which involves skills that are valuable to the development of new technologies.
See the fact file below for more information on the Computer science basics or alternatively, you can download our 28-page Computer Science Basics worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Brief History of Computer Science
- The oldest arithmetic objects, the Lebombo and Ishango bones, were found in South Africa around the period 35,000 – 20,000 B.C. These bones have numerous marks across the surface, which indicate that these might have been used for counting.
- 4000 years ago, the earliest computing tool was invented. The abacus had a board made out of clay or wood and columns of beaded strings.
- Due to the growth of trade and commerce in the city, Sumerians saw the need to develop new computational methods. The Sumerian abacus first appeared in the period of 2700 – 2300 BC.
- Ancient Greeks developed the Antikythera mechanism. The instrument was used to track the movement of astronomical bodies and help with sea navigation. The Antikythera mechanism is the earliest known analog computer, which dates back to 100 BCE.
- In 1703, binary number system was introduced by Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, a German mathematician.
- In 1820, Charles Babbage designed the Difference Engine, which served as a prototype for the modern-day computer.
- Ada Lovelace is often referred to as “the first programmer.” In 1843, she published her notes on Babbage’s Analytical Engine and detailed how it could perform calculations. Her notes included the world’s first published computer program – the Bernoulli number algorithm. This groundbreaking device was used to perform calculations for weaponry.
- During World War II, the United States built the first programmable digital computer called ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer).
Foundation of Computer Science: Computational Thinking
- Computational thinking is a set of ‘mental tools’ that are useful not just in terms of computing, but in everyday life.
- It involves analyzing problems, transforming seemingly impossible ones to obstacles that can be dealt with, and coming up with the best possible solution.
- In 2015, Computing of Schools identified the main strands of computational thinking:
- Logical reasoning
- Algorithmic thinking
- Logical Reasoning is about using a line of thinking that makes sense. It allows people to understand problems by examining it under the light of existing truths and thinking about it in a systematic and orderly way.
- This thought process helps people understand how the world works and why it works that way.
- Logical reasoning is essential to the process of testing and fixing errors in computer programs.
- Algorithmic thinking enables people to design a structured and detailed ‘action plan’ to solve a given problem.
- An algorithm is a popular computing concept. It is defined as a sequence of steps or detailed step-by-step instructions to accomplish a specific task.
- Without noticing, people use algorithmic thinking every day, like teaching someone a new skill or following cooking recipes.
- Abstraction allows people to focus on important details of a task or object and remove distractions.
- This fundamental skill helps simplify problems, making them easier to understand and solve.
- The goal of abstraction is to extract essential features or patterns that serve useful to a particular purpose.
- Decomposition is the process of breaking down complicated ideas/problems/systems into smaller parts, making them easier to analyze, understand and manage.
- When designing large computer systems or building complex machines, breaking down these tasks allow several people to work on the project at the same time. They can build, test and improve components assigned to them.
- Generalization is looking for similar features or patterns in old solutions and adapting these to solve a wider range of new problems.
- By identifying patterns, people can quickly analyze a problem, task or system and understand how it works. They can easily make predictions, construct rules and formulate solutions.
- Having a general approach to solving problems enables people to work more efficiently.
- Evaluation is an important part of the computational thinking process. Solutions need to be assessed before they are applied or programmed.
- Questions one should ask: Do these solutions completely satisfy the given problem? Do they work efficiently? Are they easy to understand?
- Evaluation is crucial to any project’s success. In computing, evaluation helps programmers avoid errors and make the coding process a lot smoother.
- Debugging is included in the evaluation process. This method is used to identify and fix errors found in a computer program.
Computer Science Basics Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Computer Science Basics across 28 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Computer Science Basics worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the computer science which is the general study of computers. It covers essential concepts such as algorithms, programming, data structures, design, architecture and more. Computational thinking is the foundation of this discipline, which involves skills that are valuable to the development of new technologies.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Computer Science Facts
- Computational Thinking
- Binary Talk
- Baker’s Algorithm
- Eye Spy Patterns
- On Loops
- Go with the Flow Chart
- Is it True or False?
- Art of Abstractions
- Let’s Debug
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Link will appear as Computer Science Basics Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 18, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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