STEM - Assignments

week 20: Jan 22 - Jan 25


  • bandwidth - Transmission capacity measure by bit rate - how much data can be transmitted at once (in best case scenario)
  • different paths: Routers respond to traffic on the Internet in real time. The best path at one moment might be backed up a few seconds later. Routers choose the current best path to get the message through
  • dropped messages: Poorly formed messages cannot be delivered and so are dropped, just like a letter with a bad address on it
  • Internet Protocol (IP) - the way devices communicate with each other
  • packets - Small chunks of information that have been carefully formed from larger chunks of information.
  • router (as part of the larger internet): a computer which receives messages travelling across a network and redirects them towards their intended destinations based on the addressing information included with the message.
  • routing (of packets) - way in which data is sent on a network
  • transmission control protocol (TCP) - provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of a stream of packets on the internet. TCP is tightly linked with IP and usually seen as TCP/IP in writing

week 19: Jan 14 - Jan 18


  • bluetooth - a standard for the short-range wireless interconnection of mobile phones, computers, and other electronic devices; named after King Harald of Denmark & Norway - the symbol is based on runes forandHarald's initials
  • cable internet - uses existing television cables to deliver broadband connection to the internet
  • DSL - Digital Subscriber Line - type of broadband internet connection that is delivered through existing telephone lines (which are made of copper)
  • ethernet - a local wired network, uses cables to connect computers to each other and a network
  • ISP - Internet Service Provider - a company that you pay to provide connection to the internet
  • modem - a piece of equipment that allows digital data to be tranmitted over cable or phone lines. Data is tranmitted in waves but stored digitally. This conversion is modulation/demodulation (hence the word modem)
  • router (as part of a home network): receives data from the modem and sends it to the connected devices on your home network

week 18: Jan 7 - Jan 11

week 17: Jan 2 - Jan 4

week 16: Dec 17 - Dec 21


week 15: Dec 10 - Dec 14


week 14: Dec 3 - Dec 7


week 13: Nov 26 - Nov 30



week 12: Nov 19 - Nov 21


  • hexadecimal number system - sixteen-digit number system where each number represents a power of 16


week 11: Nov 13 - Nov 16


week 10: Nov 5 - Nov 9

week 9: Oct 29 - Nov 2


week 8: Oct 22 - Oct 26


week 7: Oct 15 - Oct 19


week 6: Oct 9 - Oct 12

week 5: Oct 1 - Oct 5


week 4: sep 24 - sep 28


week 3: Sep 17 - Sep 22

week 2: Sep 10 - Sep 14

Vocab Week 2

  • computer: a device that accepts input, stores data, and processes it in some way to produce an output
  • computing: using computer algorithms to solve problems
  • computer hardware: the parts of a computer that you can actually touch
    • motherboard - the main circuit board - it connects all the other parts
    • bios - basic input output system - on startup it checks all your hardware connections and locates all your devices. If everything is OK, the BIOS loads the operating system into the computer's memory and finishes the boot-up process.
    • cmos - complementary metal-oxide semiconductor - it holds important data needed for the bios to start up the computer - including the date and time - it has a backup battery to ensure the info is not ever lost
    • CPU - the "brain" responsible for interpreting and executing commands from hardware and software
    • chipset - a group of microchips designed to work as a unit in performing one or more related functions
    • memory - the name for the electronic holding place for instructions and data that a computer's microprocessor can reach quickly
      • RAM - Random Access Memory - the temporary or "working" memory that allows multitasking
      • hard disk drive - the main data storage for a computer - HDD drives have spinning platters while SDD drives use a solid state flash memory
    • video/graphic card - sends images to the screen/monitor
    • drives - hardware devices that allow data to be read/written on some type of media (examples: optical, zip/thumb)
      *note: optical is often know more commonly as a CD/DVD/BluRayDVD
    • monitor/screen - displays the signals from the graphics/video card
    • peripherals - a device that can connect to the main computer (examples: keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer)
    • ports - serves as the interface between the computer and a peripheral (examples: USB, Thunderbolt, PS/2, VGA)
  • computer software - instructions for the computer and data
    • BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) is the program a computer's microprocessor uses to get the computer system started after its turned on
    • Operating system (OS) is the program that manages all the other programs in a computer
  • Input - A device or component that allows information to be given to a computer
  • Output - Any device or component that receives information from a computer


Week 1: Sep 5 - Sep 7