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Introduction to Logic Gates

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Computer Science

Science

Using redstone functionality, Minecraft supports a variety of circuitry content. An easy way to get started is with logic gates.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

November 21, 2016

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the foundation of Boolean statements and their relation to logic gates.
  • Construct basic logic gates (and, nor, etc.) to demonstrate their functionality.
  • Understand how logic gates relate to circuits, for example light switches and their ability to control flow of electricity.

Guiding Ideas

  • How are logic gates used in the real world to control electricity?
  • What are the building blocks of logic that can be used to create simple and complex contraptions?
  • How are logic gates related to algebraic thinking?

Student Activities

A logic gate is a simple device that returns some number of outputs. These outputs are determined by a pattern of inputs and rules the gate follows to create a desired result. At their core, gates return either as "true/on" or "false/off". Logic gates are the foundation of not only computational thinking and coding but also apply to electrical engineering and algebraic thinking. In this activity, students create a series of simple logic gates, and then are given an opportunity to apply these gates to create simple contraptions.

NOT Gate

  • A NOT gate is a great introductory gate to create. In this gate, students create a signal that is inverted from its input. If you trigger the input with a lever, turning the lever on will in turn respond with a FALSE signal that the gate is turned OFF.

AND Gate

  • An AND gate uses two inputs, not just one. In order for an AND gate to return "True" or "On" both inputs need to be connected. If you use two levers, for example, both of them need to be on in order to activate the machine or contraption.

NAND Gate

  • A NAND gate is basically the NOT gate equivalent of the AND gate. Instead of sending an active signal when both its inputs are active, the NAND gate will deactivate the signal its sending out. Turning on just 1 level will not deactivate the mechanism connected to the NAND gate’s output.

OR Gate

  • An OR gate is almost the opposite of an AND gate. If any of the inputs are turned on, the mechanism connected to them will also turn on. Only when all of the inputs have been turned off will the mechanism turn off. Think about OR as If A, B, OR C is true, the machine turns on. For an AND gate, A, B, AND C would all need to be true for a contraption to turn on.

Performance Expectations

  • Students will construct examples of the following logic gates
    • NOT, AND, NAND, OR
  • Students will create a contraption based off one of the logic gates, some examples are
    • Automatic door to a hideout
    • Lighting that triggers upon entering a house

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