The girls studying computing were given the opportunity to discover how computers have been used since the 1940s when they visited The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park recently.
There was a particular emphasis on how women have been influential in the development of the computer as we know it, with Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper being brought to their attention as female pioneers in the area of programming.
As well as seeing early computers such as Colossus (used to decipher messages in the Second World War) and WITCH (the oldest working digital computer), they were given the chance to extend their coding skills by writing a program to run on the BBC Basic computers; just like some of us did back in the eighties! The visit allowed them to track the progress in computer developments and the girls could actually see the the enormous storage devices that were required to hold less data than we currently store on our mobile phones or USB sticks.
The staff at Bletchley encouraged the girls to continue their studies in this discipline as they explained that they were well placed to work in the logical manner required to be successful in the computing industry.
Just the thing we want to hear to give our girls the impetus to consider a career in computing and computer science!