Educational Visits

A visit to The National Museum of Computing is designed in support of the Computing curriculum.

Most schools and colleges visit the museum with students studying at GCSE, A level, Level 2 or 3 equivalents.

The Museum can also benefit study in;

  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Design and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • History

All our exhibits can support the teaching of Computing and ICT.

For booking information click on the Teacher planning link to the left.


Below is a short description of our exhibits.

Heath Robinson and Colossus

These exhibits are from the period of ‘code breaking’ during and after the Second World War.

Located in Block H, the world's first purpose built computer centre, the Tunny and Colossus galleries will also support History. The Tunny gallery is located where Colossus 10 once worked and The Colossus rebuild is set in the adjacent machine room that once hosted Colossus 9. The Colossus MKII rebuild is an example of a first generation computer using thermionic valves.

Calculators and slide rules

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Mathematics.

The exhibit includes mechanical, electronic and programmable calculators and shows how we have worked to make arithmetic and calculation easier.

There are two cabinets, one for calculators and one for slide rules.

The Analogue Computing gallery

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing, ICT and Mathematics.

The display will help students understand the difference between digital and analogue data and how an analogue computer works.

The WITCH computer

The WITCH computer (once known as The Harwell Dekatron Computer) is the world's oldest original working computer and is an example of a first generation computer using Dekatron tubes to store data. It is hosted in another of the Block H machine rooms that once held Colossus computers. At the other end of this gallery is the work of the EDSAC rebuild team, a first generation computer under reconstruction and once based at Cambridge University.

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing.and ICT.

The Large Systems gallery

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing, ICT and Design Technology.

The area features second generation transistor based computers, a large mainframe computer and excellent examples of early means of storing data.

Women in Computing

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing and ICT.

The gallery promotes the role of women in the development of computing.

Punched card gallery

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing, ICT and Design Technology.

See how early electro-mechanical devices enabled the simple processing of large volumes of data on punched cards.

Software gallery

This gallery will be interesting to students studying Computing, ICT and Design Technology.

Your students can see how computers need software to function and it includes a programming languages timeline.

Personal Computing gallery

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing, ICT and Design Technology.

Your students can see how computers get personal, reducing in size, portability and the introduction of the GUI.

The display includes a detailed timeline.

BBC Domesday and classroom

These exhibits will be interesting to students studying Computing and ICT.

The exhibit shows the first wave of computers through schools, the famous Acorn BBC computers and the use of interactive video discs in education.

The success of your visit and the impact on learning is very dependent upon the teacher, preparation and follow up. We would be happy to discuss your particular focus for your visit and we encourage you to communicate this to the volunteer staff who will escort your students around the galleries.