Weekend coding for young people at the National Museum of Computing in the UK

After computer science had been included in the school curriculum in the UK last month, the National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) announced that young people interested in computers were invited to attend weekend programming sessions running from the 1st of November until August 2015. The venue of the Weekend Codability Project is the world’s first purpose-built computing research centre, Block H in the legendary Bletchley Park. The doors of the building will be open every weekend for anyone interested. The sessions are recommended to young people up to the age of 16, boys and girls are invited alike.

The project is sponsored by the technology unit of Ocado (www.ocado.com), the world’s largest “online-only” supermarket. The sponsorship is a part of Ocado Technology’s Code for Life national-level initiative that aims to inspire the computer scientists of the next generations and to equip children with ICT knowledge and skills that are necessary for revolutionising tomorrow’s industries.

Participants will learn how to give instructions to computers, how to change programme instructions, and how to write their own programmes. All this will be done among historic machines that have been restored or rebuilt on the basis of blueprints. Obviously, it will be inspiring to know that participants can do coding in the very same place where Turing used to work or the first electronic computers in history, Colossus and other machines, executed their daily tasks.

A team of young professionals specifically recruited for the project will introduce participants to computer science. They will work on the popular BBC Micro of the 1980s or Raspberry Pi, and a range of laptops and tablets will also be available. Participants will, of course, get to learn how to write mobile apps as well. The lessons will last for 60 minutes, it is not necessary to sign up, people can simply walk in and join a session.