Core rope memory
(Currently best viewed on a desktop machine.)
Large-hole round beads - approximately 8 for each group (see example)
12 inch pieces of nylon thread or thin string in varying colors -- creating roughly 7 pieces of string for each group (see example)
One additional large bead (referred to as a "charm" below)
What You Need
Translate a short word into binary code. Each letter will be made of 8 digits.
H E A R
11111111 11111000 10000000 00111000
Turn your binary code into the physical distinctions of core rope memory.
For every letter in your word, attach one piece of string to your charm. Then attach one additional piece of string.
Ex: For the word "HEAR" you will attach five strings to the charm.
Each string represents a letter.
Thread eight "magnetic core" beads onto the
Pick up a second piece of string and begin threading it through and around the beads according to the binary pattern for the first letter in your word. If the digit is a 0, bypass the bead with your string. If the digit is a 1, lace the string through the bead.
Ex: encoding the letter "H" requires lacing the thread through each bead.
Continue encoding this pattern with the remaining letters in the word, representing each letter with one piece of string.
Once you complete the word, create a knot at the bottom of the beads by tying all the pieces of string together.
1. Sewing and weaving are activities often associated with certain people and not
others. In what way(s) does the making-core-memory activity reinforce
stereotypes? In what ways does it challenge stereotypes?
2. What does this activity remind you of?
3. As you learn more about the core memory weavers and their contribution to the
Apollo mission, are there parts of the story that resonate with you?
4. What stories in your own life remind you of the weaving activity?
5. If you made an error in making the core rope memory, what would that
correspond to in the weaving activity for the core memory weavers?
6. What parts of the activity did you enjoy the most? What parts stood out to you?
7. Do you often have opportunities to tell stories from your own life? What stood out
to you about sharing them today?