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Code Machines

Without code, today’s computers would just be slabs of plastic, metal, and glass. And without computers, code wouldn’t be much more than meaningless letters, numbers, and symbols. Hold on to your circuit boards as we tap into the world of computers and learn how they work, how they’ve changed, and (of course) where all that code goes.



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What’s something you learned about old computers?

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45-60 minutes


Click through 2,000 Years of Computers

Take a virtual visit to the Computer History Museum and explore the devices, ideas, and people who brought computers and coding to life, from early calculators to today’s internet-connected phones and tablets.

Spend as much time as you want — there’s a lot here!


ENIAC: The World’s First Programmable Computer

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It took up a whole room, weighed more than 30 tons, had its own power line, and took days to program. Get to know ENIAC and see it in action in this video from the Computer History Archives Project.

Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. Click "Skip" as soon as you can.


How Does a Modern Computer Work?

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In this animated video from TED-Ed, you’ll step inside the machine and see how the most important parts of a computer, like the CPU and memory, work together.


Exploring a Computer's Parts

If you’ve ever looked inside a computer, you probably saw a lot of bundled cables connecting circuit boards and other electronics. What do all of those things do? Let’s find out.



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These days, the only computers that take up entire rooms are supercomputers, incredibly powerful machines designed to tackle the most complex computing challenges, like predicting weather patterns. In just a few minutes or hours, they can perform calculations that would take a normal computer years to complete. Learn more in this video from CNBC.


How Are Computers Made?

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It’s clear that today’s computers are amazingly complicated machines. They have many different electronic components, which are getting smaller all the time. So how do computer-makers do it? (Hint, it involves a lot of careful work by humans—and more computers.)


60-90 minutes


Code Your Way Out of a Minecraft Hole

In this awesome Hour of Code activity, you’ll need some creative coding skills to mine and build your way through the world of Minecraft.


Design Your Dream Computer

Computers are changing fast. What if you got the chance to design one of your own? Would it have a screen and keyboard, like today’s computers, or totally different parts? Would it do normal computer stuff like searching the internet, or something more exciting? How would you tell it what to do? Grab some paper and colored pencils or markers, then draw your dream computer. Use notes or labels to explain how it works!


15-20 minutes


Dance Like a Computer (Kinda)

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Ok, computers can’t dance. But if they could, they would definitely dance like a robot, right? There’s actually a whole style of dance called “botting” that uses cool robot moves. Check it out and learn a basic robot dance routine in about 15 minutes with this video.