Coding Nina and the Neurons


Coding

Show for preschool children. Super scientist Nina and her young experimenters travel the UK in search of digital wonders. Nina investigates how computers know what to do.


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# If you've got a question and you don't know where to go

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# Ask Nina for some help Cos she's got a science show

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# She makes sense of her senses While helping all her fans

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# By doing her experiments with potions and with bangs

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-# Touch your tongue.

-Tongue!

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-# Fingers.

-Fingers!

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-# Eyes.

-Eyes!

-Ears.

-Ears!

-Nose.

-Nose!

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Luke, he helps us with our eyes and Felix with our touch

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# Ollie sniffs out smells and scents And Belle, she hears so much

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# Bud is Ollie's brother He helps us with our taste

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# They're Nina's little Neurons And they're coming to your place!

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-# Touch your tongue.

-Tongue!

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-# Fingers.

-Fingers!

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-# Eyes.

-Eyes!

-Ears.

-Ears!

-Nose.

-Nose!

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Nina and the Neurons find out what you need to know

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# Oh, yeah! #

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Erm... Was it? Oh. Oh, hello there.

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Now, I thought I'd finished making this chair, then I found this.

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I must have missed something out of the instructions.

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Erm... Oh, I wonder where it's supposed to go.

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Oh.

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-Found it!

-BEEPING

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I hear a beep, I see a flash. I wonder what they're going to ask.

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-Hi, Nina.

-Hi.

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-We've got a question for you.

-Computers can do amazing things.

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-How do they know what to do?

-That's a great question.

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Computers can do amazing things. How do they know what to do?

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We use computers for absolutely everything.

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They are amazing machines that make our lives easier every day.

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Come down to my lab and investigate.

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-See you soon, Nina. Bye.

-Bye.

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Well, I'm going to need some help to answer this one

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and I know just who to ask.

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OK, Neurons, time to get to work.

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ALL: Neurons at the ready, Nina.

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OK. Today's question is, computers can do amazing things.

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How do they know what to do?

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Which Neuron will be most useful in helping us find the answer?

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-It's all Neurons!

-ALL: Go, Neurons! Go, Neurons!

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Go, Neurons! Go, Neurons!

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Go, Neurons! Go, Neurons! Go Neurons!

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All Neurons hip, hop, happy to help, Nina.

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Today's question is - computers can do amazing things.

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How do they know what to do?

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Now, when we use a computer, we need all our senses,

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so all the Neurons will be helping us today.

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Right, I need to get the lab ready before the experimenters arrive.

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Caleb likes playing football.

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Kennedy likes chicken and chips.

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Sarah loves gymnastics at school.

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My computer can play music.

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I like playing games on my computer.

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I can draw on my computer.

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But they all want to know - computers are amazing.

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How do they know what to do?

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So today, for one day only, Caleb, Kennedy and Sarah

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become the experimenters!

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-Hi, guys.

-Hi, Nina.

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Welcome to my lab and thank you for your question.

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Computers can do amazing things. How do they know what to do?

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To find out the answer, let's start by using our senses.

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ALL: Whoop whoo! A senses experiment! We're ready, Nina.

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First, let's think about how we know what to do.

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Quite often, people tell us what to do. They give us an instruction.

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Like telling us to tidy our room.

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Computers always have to be told what to do

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because they're not people and they can't think like we can.

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-When you tell a computer what to do, it's called coding.

-Coding.

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That sounds important, Nina.

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Coding is very important, Belle.

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It's the instructions for the computer.

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And the exciting thing is, anyone can learn how to do it.

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Let's do an experiment to understand more about coding.

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So in front of you, you each have a white board and a pen.

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Now, we're going to draw a picture

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and I'm going to give you instructions on what to draw.

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Are you ready?

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-Yeah!

-OK. First of all, I would like you to draw a big circle.

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Next, I'd like you to draw two smaller circles

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inside the big circle.

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Now I'd like you to draw a straight line.

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And finally, I'd like you to draw an upside-down rainbow shape.

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OK, experimenters. Let's see what you've drawn.

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I'm not sure what the drawings are.

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I think it's a plate with grapes and a curvy banana. Yum!

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Well, that's not quite what I meant.

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I wanted you to draw something more like...this.

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-My instructions didn't work, did they?

-No.

-No.

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And why do you think they didn't work?

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-We didn't know it was meant to be a face.

-That's right.

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I gave you instructions, but not enough detail.

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I missed important things,

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so you didn't know it was meant to be a face.

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If you want someone to follow instructions,

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you have to give them lots of detail so they know exactly what to do.

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And in the same way, people who write computer code

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have to make sure the instructions are very detailed

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so computers know what to do.

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-Can anyone write computer code, Nina?

-Great question.

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I know a really exciting place where we can find out more.

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FELIX: Oh, goodie. I love this bit. I wonder where Nina is taking us.

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-Oh, maybe we're going on holiday!

-Maybe we're going to the seaside.

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Hey, everyone. We've arrived.

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But it doesn't look like the seaside.

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Now, for our next experiment, I'm going to pretend to be

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a character in a computer game.

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And you guys are going to tell me what to do using this simple code.

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Oh, now, look at this.

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So this arrow means, "move forward."

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This arrow means, "go that way."

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This arrow means, "go that way."

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The aim of this computer game is to keep me on the green path.

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But remember, a computer doesn't think for itself,

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so I can only follow the instructions that you give me.

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-So, are you ready?

-Yeah!

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Let's get coding.

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-OK, what's the first instruction?

-Forward!

-OK.

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-And the next instruction?

-Turn left.

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Turn left.

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-And...?

-Forward.

-Oh, forwards.

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Forwards.

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-And next?

-Turn left.

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-What's next?

-Forward.

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Ooh! Oh, no. I've moved off the green path.

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What went wrong, experimenters?

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-You turned the wrong way, Nina.

-Yes, I turned the wrong way.

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There must be a mistake.

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But mistakes can happen when people write computer code.

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So the people that write them always have to check them.

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-So, should we check our code to see what went wrong?

-Yes.

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This is a plan of the game.

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So let's go back to the beginning and follow the instructions.

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And if we think an instruction's right,

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we can put an arrow into the box.

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OK, let's start with the very first instruction, which is?

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-Forward.

-Forwards. And do we think that's right?

-Yes.

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Yeah, well, why don't you put that onto the first box? Excellent.

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Let's have a look at the second instruction, which is turn left.

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-Is that right?

-Yes.

-OK, put it on for me. Excellent.

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Now, what's the next instruction? Move forward. Is that correct?

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-Looks OK so far, Nina.

-It's another move forward.

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And then it says turn left. Is that correct?

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-No, Nina.

-Well, what way do you think the arrow should point?

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-Right, Nina.

-Correct! The arrow should be pointing the other way.

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Now that's fixed, let's go through the other instructions

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and we'll see if there are any other mistakes.

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-Finished, Nina.

-Hey! Well done. Let's try it again.

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-OK, guys. What's first?

-Forward!

-OK.

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Left.

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Forward.

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Forward.

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Turn right.

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Forward.

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Turn right.

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Forward.

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Forward. Turn left.

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Forward.

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Yay! We did it. Well done, experimenters.

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Your coding worked really well.

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I had all the right instructions and I made it to the finish.

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But Nina, it was a really, really, REALLY long list of instructions.

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Yes, it was a very long list, wasn't it?

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There is a way you can make code shorter.

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And there's a really fun experiment we can do to find out how.

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OK, guys. This time, the code has been written out using picture cards

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and you guys are going to follow the instructions on them.

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-But this list... It's quite long, isn't it?

-Yes.

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Can you spot any patterns in our list of instructions?

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Red, yellow and green.

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That's right.

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In our code, the instructions coloured red, yellow, green

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always come one after the other.

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So instead of having to write out the same instructions over and over,

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we could just give the pattern a name and use the pattern name.

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Patterns have names that tell us about them. So I think this pattern

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should be called "Dance." So each time you see...

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..the Dance instruction, you know that it means

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I want you to do those three moves one after the other.

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So, let's rewrite the list with the Dance card in place of wiggle,

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bend your knees and superhero.

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The list is much shorter. Let's follow the code. Are you ready?

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-Yes, Nina.

-Wave.

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Jump.

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Dance.

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Jump. Wave.

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Wave. Dance.

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Star jump.

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Dance.

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Yay! Well done, experimenters. That was great fun.

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Giving a name to a pattern of instructions

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can save a lot of time when you're writing computer code.

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Let's try out our code on a real computer.

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Nice one.

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Nice choice.

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Jump.

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And you get to press the green button.

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# Nina and the Neurons! #

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So, your question was, computers can do amazing things.

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How do they know what to do? And I think we've answered it.

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People give computers lists of instructions. This is called coding.

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Everyone can learn to write computer code

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so they can write programmes and tell computers what to do.

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If your computer code doesn't work,

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you have to look through all the instructions

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to find the mistake.

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When a computer programme has a group of instructions

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that always come in the same order, it's called a pattern.

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You can give a pattern a name so you don't have to write out

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the same instructions over and over so it saves you time.

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-So, I hope that's answered your question.

-Thanks, Nina. Bye.

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You're welcome, bye.

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If you want to know more about the science that's all around us,

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go to the Nina section on the CBeebies website. Have fun!

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it faster.

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it better.

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it faster.

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# Go digital!

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-# Computers and technology help us every day.

-Yay!

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# Making our lives easier in each and every way

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# They help us understand things

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# And make it very clear

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# They make tricky tasks a piece of cake

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I want cake!

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# If you're trying to understand the world

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-# But the answer is invisible

-Invisible

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# Use the power of computers

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# Switch it on, switch it on

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# Switch it on

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it faster

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it better

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-# Go digital!

-If you want to do it faster

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# Go digital! #

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Amazing technology is all around us, making our lives faster

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and easier and giving us an even more exciting future.

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So, wherever you go and whatever you do, remember to go digital.

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-See you again soon. Bye.

-ALL: Bye.

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Go digital!

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Super scientist Nina and her young Experimenters travel the UK in search of digital wonders. With the help of Nina's five animated sense Neurons, they explain how amazing technology is all around us, helping make our everyday lives faster and easier.

Nina investigates how computers know what to do - with the help of all her sense neurons.

Experimenters Caleb, Kennedy and Sarah visit Nina in her lab. They discover that we give computers instructions so that they know what to do, and that the instructions are called code. Next, they do an experiment and find that the computer code can be like a really long list. Finally, they look for patterns in the code and have a go at coding for themselves!


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