GCSE students delve into the history of computer science at Bletchley Park

GCSE students delve into the history of computer science at Bletchley Park

9 February 2022

Anjali, Year 10

On Monday 7 February, Year 10 students studying GCSE computer science enjoyed an intellectually stimulating visit to Bletchley Park, the top-secret home of World War Two (WW2) codebreakers.

From the moment we arrived, we were immersed in the world of old computers. We had a chance to look at Colossus and Tunny, two integral parts of old computing, before moving onto some of the most important factors in the decoding of messages in WW2. We were astounded to learn how exact the machine needed to be when decoding - the paper containing the number of options the Germans could have used to encrypt their messages was more than six metres long. We then moved on to look at how important prime numbers were - and still are - in decoding messages.

After lunch, we had a lot of fun playing some of the earliest video and arcade games, doing our best to get our heads around the low-quality graphics, but being no less competitive. After having a lot of fun playing and trying to figure out exactly how we managed to get from these games to the sleek graphics we know today, we moved onto some coding, looking at how implementing protocols into your code can help it move almost five times faster.

However, all good things must come to an end and, in what seemed like no time, we were back on the coach, after what was undeniably a very interesting day that will no doubt help with further studies.

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