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Lesson 2: Turning Numbers into Pictures

The binary system is a base-two system with only two digits: 0 and 1. You have the binary code, now what is the message hidden in the ones and zeros? In this lesson, you’ll translate the digital code created by another person into letters that make up a secret word. Enter the numbers carefully and decipher the mystery of the hidden word.

Doing the Science

  1. Start the Rosetta Phone Simulation by clicking on the "Sim" tab.
  2. Exchange the numeric code that you created in Lesson 1 with a fellow student. Ask your teacher for a code if no one else created one.
  3. Click the "Decode" button at the bottom-left of the screen. Use the "0" and "1" buttons to enter the code into the simulation. After you have entered the entire code for a given letter, write the letter formed by the image in Table 1 below. Click the "Done" button.
  4. Repeat the process for the four other letter codes.
  5. Write the five-letter word in the space below Table 1. Check with your classmate to see if you successfully decoded the word.

Table 1.


Numeric Code

Five-letter Decoded Word =

Do You Understand?

  1. Did any particular letters cause you more difficulty in their recognition than other letters? Discuss why this difficulty occurred.

  2. What would happen to the quality of how a letter appeared in this simulation if the boxed grid had 1,000 boxes instead of 25 boxes?