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Drawing computer

20 minutes

Computers follow instructions, but giving precise instructions is more difficult than you might think. Just try to have someone copy a drawing without them being able to see the picture. They are only allowed to draw exactly what you say.



Step 1

Ask a friend to be your drawing computer. That means they won’t be able to think for themselves – they can only draw what you tell them to draw.

Step 2

Make a simple drawing that consists of lines only, like a house, a mountain, a tree or a stick figure. Don’t show the drawing to your friend!

Step 3

Give the drawing computer – your friend – a pen and a piece of paper. Try to have them copy your drawing as accurately as possible. But only by giving them instructions. You can’t show them anything. For example, say: “Draw a circle.” They are only allowed to draw exactly what you say – they can’t make up anything themselves.


What did you discover

You’ve learned how hard it is to give clear, step-by-step instructions. Your drawing computer draws exactly what you tell it to draw. If you leave something out or if your instructions are unclear, the copy won’t look anything like your original drawing.

This also happens when you’re programming a computer. If you leave out a programming step, or if your instructions are unclear or incomplete, the computer won’t do what you want it to do. Precision is key in programming.