Searching Algorithms

Searching for a keyword or value is the basis of many computing applications, whether on an internet search engine or looking up a bank account balance.

This activity explores the main algorithms that are used as the basis for searching on computers, using different variations on the game of battleships.

Searching Algorithms




  • Teachers try the battleships game at a conference in Japan



Curriculum Links

Great Principles of Computer Science [info]
  • Computation
ACM K12 Curriculum [info]
  • Level I (Grades 3–-5) Topic 11: develop a simple understanding of an algorithm
New Zealand Curriculum [info]
  • Mathematics Level 2: Equations and Expressions
    • Communicate and interpret simple additive strategies, using words, diagrams (pictures), and symbols
  • Mathematics Level 3: Position and Orientation
    • Use a co-ordinate system or the language of direction and distance to specify locations and describe paths
  • Technology Level 1: Brief Development
    • Describe the outcome they are developing and identify the attributes it should have, taking account of the need or opportunity
  • Technology Level 1: Outcome Development and Evaluation
    • Investigate a context to communicate potential outcomes. Evaluate these against attributes; select and develop an outcome in keeping with the identified attributes.
  • Technology Level 1: Planning for Practice
    • Outline a general plan to support the development of an outcome, identifying appropriate steps and resources