The Big Brain Binary Counter: An Abbreviated History
Binary began in The BBSC as simple 0 and 1 flip cards:
Our interest in binary was threefold:
- As part of our interest in Critical Thinking, we like to explode standard concepts and ways of looking at the world. As many of our Big Brains had never before questioned the foundations of base-10 as a number system, we figured we’d challenge their assumptions of its normalcy by introducing them to a new number system. Through this process, we gain a method of distinguishing the role of a number system’s symbols from that of its structural rules.
- Exploring binary is another way for us to explore switches and digital logic.
- Learning binary as a number system is helpful in case we ever want to delve into binary code.
After the flip cards, one of our sidekicks decided to build a binary counter and bring it in for Brains to play with, turning binary counting into a bit of a competitive sport in The BBSC:
From there, Big Brains built our own prototype binary counter using standard light switches, arduino, and giant 7-segment display panels:
Once we had our functional prototype, Google Foundation was kind enough to grant us the funds for a whole team of Big Brains to design, code, and build a full version of the binary counter on which Big Brains continue to learn and teach binary within the Yesler community and throughout Seattle:
In learning binary, as in all things, teamwork makes the dream work.