NEW REACH UNIT: Engage Your Students With Information Theory

Published: August 2, 2023

The IEEE REACH Program is pleased to announce the addition of our latest inquiry unit, Information Theory. Students today are inundated with sensory input of all kinds: streaming video or music, social media, texts and emails. They may also have heard that they live in the “Information Age.” But do they know what information is…or even that it is really a “thing”…and why it is important?

This REACH unit defines information and traces its use by and impact on people and society from the earliest writing systems to TikTok. There is a focus on how the invention and development of modern Information Theory in the second half of the 20th century transformed society through both technological advances – such as the cellphone and internet – and through an altered scientific and mathematical understanding of the universe.

Peruvian quipu showing colored strings and knots

Quipu photo: Pi3.124CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Information Theory is an invaluable adjunct to classes studying the history of the late 20th century and to STEM classes involved in any aspect of computation or communication.

This inquiry unit is brought to you by the IEEE Information Theory Society & Ray and Carmen Vargas.

Explore the Information Theory Unit

Header photo: Antikythera Mechanism: JoyofmuseumsCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

About IEEE REACH Lesson Plans:

REACH provides full lesson plans that are researched and vetted by Ph.D. Historians. The plans include formative and summative performance tasks, excerpted documents, and civic actions, which make the material relevant to students’ lives today. They are designed in an inquiry format that encompasses engaging students through compelling questions and inquiry, using and evaluating evidence to answer questions and communicate answers, and participating in civic actions. Inquiries are supported by primary sources, short engaging student videos, and hands-on activities.

All the program resources meet both the United States and International education standards, including the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) C3 (College, Career, and Civics) standards and the Social Studies Common Core standards, in addition to the Next Generation Science Standards. They also meet the International Technology and Engineering Educators Associations’ (ITEEA) Standards for Technology and Engineering Literacy or STEL.