I taught this lesson to my students in my Girls Who Code club a few days ago and the results were sort of mixed.
A little background on the classroom:
There was a 15-ish minute discussion before we started that was about information, what things a computer might need to store, the inputs and the outputs of a computer and what things a computer might need to process. The girls completed these activities in groups of 2-3.
This activity was not popular among the girls. Some of the older students (8th and 9th grade) enjoyed the activity, but the younger ones (6th-8th) really didn’t like this one.
Main complaints from students:
The middle card challenge was too hard/confusing. A lot of girls thought having 4 challenges was unnecessary.
“Too much writing”, students didn’t like writing their algorithms out by hand. They asked if they could type it instead, or just talk out their algorithm with the class.
Too tedious/took too long as a whole.
Even after having the activity demonstrated to them, a few girls still found it hard to understand what they were supposed to do.
My co-instructor suggested having a constraint on how many save spots can be used: “Going ‘Look at all those in safe spaces and tell which one is the biggest’ is a primitive operation not supported in most computers”
Are jokers supposed to be taken out of the deck? The instructions don’t say.
Overall: maybe shorten this activity?