Mechanical Computers

Middle schoolers using mechanical computers

Middle school technology students are using mechanical computers called ‘Turing Tumble‘  to build puzzles based on a desired output. To arrive at the correct answer students use trial and error as well as deductive reasoning to move to the next level. The activity progressively gets more difficult as students ‘level up’. Our students are showing significant gains in ordered thinking as well as fine motor skills!


The activity teaches students how binary numbers work inside of a computer. Students set up initial systems then trace a path through multiple iterations where each run gets them closer to the solution. Students use tracing as the primary form of achieving the desired result. After exploring the mechanics, students set up a register where they can use binary counting as a shortcut. We are excited to watch our students continue to embrace programming and grow in this important skillset!