Activity 2.1.1A Ham Cheese Algorithm

Activity 2.1.1A Ham Cheese Algorithm

Activity 2.1.1a Sandwich Algorithm


An algorithm is a procedure or formula for solving a problem. A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually involvesa small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.

Engineers must communicate their solutions to a problem.Sometimes engineers communicate verbally and sometimes with written text and/or sketches. Communication is the tool that keeps all aspects of the design process on track. When the goal of a project is not shared or not obvious to everyone, then communication falls apart and often the project is not completed within its constraints.

Today you will write the steps to solve the recurrent problem of how to make the perfect sandwich.


  • Gateway notebook
  • Sandwich ingredients
  • Bread
  • Butter knives
  • Paper plates
  • Food service gloves


  1. In the table, write in detail the steps necessary to make a sandwich with the ingredients provided by your teacher. Assume the person who will make the sandwich has never made a sandwich before.
  2. When you have finished writing the algorithm, you will read to your teacher the steps to make the sandwich. Your teacher will follow the steps exactly and then share the sandwich with you and your partner, so don’t forget to include steps to cut and share the sandwich.
  3. Place a check in the box aftereach direction as your partnerperforms each step. This will help you follow the process as your teacher makes the sandwich.
  4. If your partner does what your direction says but it is not what you meant, you may correct your partner. However, you must write out the corrected step in the second chart.Read the corrected step to your partner before continuing.

Step #Direction Completed

Step #Corrected Direction


  1. Did your partner make the sandwich exactly like you expected? What was different (if anything)?
  1. What could you have done differently with your first set of instructions so that your sandwich was made better by your partner?
  1. What could your teacher have done differently so that your sandwich was made better?
  1. Which is an easier task for you, writing directions or following them? Why?
  1. What guidance would you suggest for writing better instructions?
  1. Why do you think good communication skills are necessary for engineers?

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PLTW Gateway – Automation and RoboticsVEX Activity 2.1.1a Sandwich Algorithm – Page 1