Computer Science KS3 / KS4: Searching Algorithms

The concept of a Searching Algorithm is explained through everyday activities/events.

The characters are a teenage girl (Ada) and her friend Computer Head (CH).

Ada interacts with CH and teaches him, and us, the concept of a Searching Algorithm.

Ada uses keywords in her explanation to CH and shows how if he had to search through a massive music collection for a particular album how an effective searching algorithm would help to make the task much quicker than checking through each album in turn.

This clip is from the series How to Think Like a Computer.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used to extend student knowledge by discussing the meanings of words such as serial, sequential and linear.

You could also look at the advantages and disadvantages of a serial versus a binary search in greater detail.

It would also provide a good opportunity to recap the basic concept of an algorithm and efficiency, flow-charting and pseudo code.

You could also discuss the contributions of women in IT such as Ada Lovelace as the main character is called Ada.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Computer Science at KS3 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 3rd Level in Scotland.