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Computer Science Students Visit Bletchley Park and Museum of Computer Science

Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor’s A-Level Computer Science students recently got the opportunity to visit two iconic locations of great significance, when documenting the history of British computing.

Bletchley Park is a mansion and estate near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, which became the main allied code-breaking centre during the Second World War.

During the War, the estate was home to the Government Code School and Seiffr School, which regularly broke into secret communications, most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The code-breaking team consisted of Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander, Bill Tutte, and Stuart Milner-Barry. The nature of the work at Bletchley Park remained a secret for many years after the War.

The students also had the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Computer Science Museum. It was established to create a permanent public exhibition pertaining to the information age and the history of computing more generally.

Two special workshops regarding robot programming and the Von Meumann computer architecture were organised for the Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor students during their visit to the museum.

Hugh Hughes, A-level Computer Science tutor at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor, said: "Getting the opportunity to use an Enigma machine was a special experience for the students. As they are learning about cyber security encryption as part of their A-level course, it was a great opportunity to see and learn about this first-hand."

He added, "The workshops were absolutely fantastic. Learning about this type of work from real experts opens up a lot of doors and possibilities for our students. The workshop on the Von Meumann computer architecture provided a solid basis for any understanding of information storage systems. I believe that providing these kinds of opportunities for our students is a central part of our mission as a college. I would like to extend my thanks to the museum staff for their hospitality."

To find out more about studying A-Levels at Grŵp Llandrillo Menai, click here.