I am always looking for interesting and exciting ways to teach computing concepts to students. Engagement is a key to making learning memorable and therefore easier to understand and recall. This post looks at how to create a Binary counting machine from plastic drinks cups.

9 large plastic cups

A marker pen

A pinch of binary logic

**You will need:**9 large plastic cups

A marker pen

A pinch of binary logic

**Step One**

Join the cups together as shown in the picture, they will need to turn, this can be made easier by lining up the joins on the cups.

**Step Two**

Across the top row write the Binary Values, 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128. Underneath each value write a zero. The trick here is to be neat and line up the digits.

**Step Three**

Under the zeros add a row of ones. Again neatness and equal spacing is essential to ensure that the digits will all be lined up when the cups are turned.

**Step Four**

The final step is the add the two indicators as shown in the picture. The first is the

**read here,**which i where the user lines up the binary values. The

**binary**where the user reads the binary code.

**Reading the Cups**

To read the binary code simply turn the

**Binary Values**until you have the total value that your want, for example

**41**

*(32 +8+1)*

Then read the

**Binary Code**from the third line. The process can be reversed and students can create a

**Binary Code**and then work out the decimal value.