Roedean visits Colossus at Bletchley Park
Colossus machine, Bletchley Park

Year 9 ICT visit to Bletchley

11/02/2013

The ICT Department took our Year 9 pupils to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park last week.

Bletchley is the site of secret British codebreaking activities during World War II and birthplace of the modern computer. We know several Old Roedeanians worked at Bletchley during the war.

The Museum shows the development of computing from the ultra-secret pioneering efforts of the 1940s through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s.

The girls were given the opportunity to learn about computing and software, and the way in which computing has developed over the last fifty years.

They also learnt about Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic computer (shown above). Colossus had a single purpose: to help decipher the Lorenz-encrypted (Tunny) messages between Hitler and his generals during World War II.  The information gleaned from the decrypted messages is widely acknowledged to have shortened the war by many months, saving tens of thousands of lives.

All girls were given the opportunity to create a simple computer game using the first model of BBC computers and have subsequently been musing on where they think computing will go in the next fifty years!

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