It's easy to get pupils interested in this topic. Here's some suggestions:

- Show them a picture of a binary watch. I once knew a Year 13 who actually wore one of these to school every day! My pupils were intrigued by this and wanted to know how to read it.
- You could lead into this topic through other number systems (Roman Numerals etc).
- Perform this fantastic binary magic trick. My pupils loved it! They were desperate to know how it worked.
- Tell them the joke "There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't".

- Nice PowerPoint 'Binary Bot' from MauveStorm on TES (designed for Key Stage 2 but could be used for Year 7/8)
- The slides that I use when I teach binary. Includes how to count binary on your fingers!
- Binary Window Frames from mathsticks.com (free registration to access)
- A worksheet to practise converting to and from binary
- Binary Crossums
- PowerPoint from teachitmaths.co.uk on binary, denary and hexadecimal numbers
- Teaching binary using cups
- Lots more resources listed in this blog.

Last year I went to a fantastic lecture by Simon Singh (@SLSingh) about Maths in the Simpsons. His book 'The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets' is absolutely brilliant, a must-read for all Maths teachers. Singh writes about a scene in the Futurama episode 'The Honking' in which Bender is alarmed when he reads the binary code 0101100101. When read in a mirror, the code reads '666'. I told my Year 13s about this - they loved it. I wanted to show them the clip from Futurama but all I found was this YouTube video in Spanish (?) which they thought was hilarious. I also explained the reference to the 'Redrum' scene in The Shining - most of them had never seen the film so I showed them this clip and managed to terrify half the class! Myself included. :)

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