Trip to The National Museum of Computing



Year 9 were given the fantastic opportunity to visit The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley, Milton Keynes. We made our way there by coach and after a two hour drive we finally arrived. We were split into three groups and did a rotation of various activities involving computers. A tour guide gave us a tour to see the old computers that played a key role in World War II. We were shown the WITCH computer which is one of the world’s oldest working computers, Colossus computer was made to decipher messages between Hitler and his generals and The Bombe computer was a milestone in technology and helped shorten the war. These computers were the size of the whole room! The transformation of technology over the years is incredible. After a tour of the ancient computers, we got to play vintage retro computer games and saw one of the first Apple macintosh's. It was extremely interesting to see the development of computers over the years. We then put our computing skills to the test and attempted coding our very own snake game which was a lot of fun. We had lunch and afterwards got back to some more tasks. One of the activities was testing if we were smarter than a computer. We asked a computer various questions and we had to figure out whether it was a person answering the questions or the computer. Thankfully, we beat the computer and figured out that it was in fact a computer and not a human. We also did some Python coding to ask a computer some of our own questions we made up to see if the computer was smart enough to answer them. We watched a presentation which showed us various different types of technology from a typewriter to a mechanical calculator. After an eventful day, it was time to leave the museum and head back to school. The trip to The National Museum of Computing was very interesting and an enjoyable experience and we learnt alot about computers, what they used to be like compared to how they are now and how we could enhance our understanding further and consider possible careers in computing.

Written by Valentina Morelli

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St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls

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