Activity Industry Sector
Engineering & Architecture

Activity Originally Created By: Wes Dennison

Lab Activity- Secret Binary Worksheet

Part of Lesson Plan: Binary 4- ASCII Art- How Computers Write.

Activity Overview / Details

Now pass out the “ Secret Binary Code Worksheet”. Have them put their name at the top on both of the “Name” lines and fill in the Period, if applicable.

Starting at the left side, the students will write a secret message in the “Secret Message” column, starting from top and working down to the bottom. They need to be sure to use a combination of upper case and lower case, punctuation and possibly numbers. Tel them to be sure to use spaces when applicable. The message can be comical or cryptic, as long as it will be understandable when translated.

They then will write down the correct ASCII code number in the next column. Then they will convert the ASCII code number into a binary byte and write that in the middle column. The message should reasonably fill the page from top to bottom. Make sure they leave the last two “ASCII Number” and “Secret Message” columns empty. These will be filled in by the solver.

Now have the students cut along the dotted line to separate the left two columns from the rest of the page. This will leave the ASCII code in the middle section and two columns at the right for the solver.

Have the students keep the code section of the paper (the thin strip) and turn in the solver section (the larger piece). Collect the solver sections and then randomly hand them back out to other students. Have the solver student write their names on the “Solver” line. Now have the solver students attempt to convert the binary numbers back to the ASCII number and then figure out the original secret message.

After they have solved the secret message, have the solving students meet with the original coding student and compare their solution with the original. Have them make notes of any problems they may have had. When they are done, have them staple the two parts of the assignment together and turn them in.

Materials / Resource