News and blog

St Mary’s girls launch exhibition celebrating Computing Herstory for Ada Lovelace Week

St Mary’s girls launch exhibition celebrating Computing Herstory for Ada Lovelace Week

On Wednesday 13th October, all of our Year 6 girls visited the Centre For Computing History here in Cambridge. The focus of the visit was an exhibition created to celebrate Ada Lovelace Week, entitled 'Computing His HerStory', which draws together information about the crucial pioneering women who contributed to the computing industry and provides an insight into those working in computing and associated industries today. Our girls took part in an inspiring day of activities, guest talks, and a photoshoot to help launch the exhibition. 

Their practical activities included learning how to program 30-year-old BBC Micro computers using the text-based BBC Basic coding language, discussing the evolution of computers and their uses throughout history, exploring the development of computer games by gaining hands-on experience with a variety of historic computers and their original software, and creating their own Morse Code transmitters and receivers. They also participated in an engaging question-and-answer session, led by Suzanna Beanland and Mary Dai from Darktrace (a local cyber security company) which explored possible future careers in tech-related industries. The girls particularly enjoyed imagining the motivations and methods of hackers and learning about how internet security can help keep users safe.

The staff at the centre and the visiting speakers were extremely impressed with the girls, not only in terms of their Computer Science skills, but also with their interest in the development of computing and the historical figures who pioneered it, and their intelligent questions and observations throughout the visit. 

All of the girls had a thoroughly enjoyable experience and now have a much greater understanding of the parts that they may be able to play in the next phase of developments within the computing and technology industries, by following in the footsteps of the pioneering women who have already been so instrumental in this field.