Theory Play Share & Discuss

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Teach Sequencers
with Machineers

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What are sequencers?
Where are they used?
How do they operate?

Teacher Resources

  • Theory: This lesson is all about sequencers and their applications.
  • Play: The students play Machineers and solve puzzles based on, among other things, sequencers.
  • Share & Discuss: The tasks and discussion topics focus on sequencers.

What is a Sequencer?

One that sequences: such as
a : a device for arranging things (as events in the ignition of a rocket) in a sequence
b : a device for determining the order of occurrence of amino acids in a protein or of bases in a nucleic acid

Merriam Webster Dictionary


Teacher Resources

Summary: “A sequencer is a device that is used to automate the pace and sequence of a process.”

Image Source: Drum Sequencer, Wikimedia Commons.

Sequencer: Theory


Teacher Resources

Tell the students about the history of sequencers:

“On the left you see a picture of a hydraulic barrel organ from a book released in 1615. A sequencer is these days often understood to be a musical device (which it also is) but it has also been important during the different stages of industrialization. On the right you can see the Hattersley steam-driven weaving shed’s sequencer, its different sides placed on a chain.”

(Left) Illustration from 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, article BARREL-ORGAN. Fig. 1.—Large stationary barrel-organ worked by hydraulic power, from Solomon de Caus, Les Raisons des forces mouvantes (Frankfurt-on-Main, 1615). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

(Right) is in the collection Queen Street Mill in Harle Syke, a suburb to the north-east of Burnley, Lancashire. The mill was built in 1894 for the Queen Street Manufacturing Company. It closed on 12 March 1982 and was mothballed, but was subsequently taken over by Burnley Borough Council and used as a museum. In the 1990s ownership passed to Lancashire Museums. Unique in being the world's only surviving steam-driven weaving shed. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Sequencers in Machineers

Gameplay screenshot

Teacher Resources

Sequencers repeat a process the given number of times going from left to right. In the example, the first column from left is ran once, second, twice and the third three times. Fourth, fifth and sixth are all ran once.

The goal of mission eight is to move the machine to the left and lower the crane, grab the teddy bear, raise it and move it to the right.

TIP: Mouse scroll zooms in and out.


Lesson Goal

Play Machineers, continuing where you left off the previous lesson.
Alternatively, beginning from puzzle 8.

Teacher Resources

Hints for the puzzles:

  • The eighth mission is based on a complex operation which requires a sequencer.
  • The ninth mission is a fairly easy review mission, where you fix the gears of a ferris wheel.
  • The tenth mission involves the train track switches, where you must fix the tracks so that the trains can safely reach the finish line.
  • If you have time, the eleventh mission is about the combination of sequencers to mechanical logic.
  • The twelfth mission is a good review mission, because the player needs to adapt their knowledge of sequencers into opening up a mechanical lock.

How to Play

To begin playing, click on the Play button.

Shared save file warning: Save files in Machineers are shared. This means that if another student plays this game on the same computer, the save will be the same. To access a desired puzzle that has already been completed, select the Replay button on the main screen instead of Play.

Gameplay screenshot

Share & Discuss

Share & Discuss

  • How many challenges did you complete?
  • What problems did you encounter? How did you solve them?
  • What kind of sequencers did you make? Did anything funny happen?
  • Think of examples: where are sequencers used today?

Tasks after Playing

  • What are sequencers?
Show Notes

Sequencers are devices which do things multiple times. Sequencers are synchronizers.

  • Where are they used?
Show Notes

Sequencers are used in musical devices. Sequencers are in fact used in almost every device!

  • What are they used for in devices?
Show Notes

Sequencers are used in devices, when something needs to be synchronized or physical labor needs to be done multiple times.