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Information for schools

The Department of Computer Science runs an extensive programme of activities with schools to promote student interest in the field of computer science at all levels.  

We are happy to arrange a lecture about what cutting edge research in Computing looks like and how the subject manifests itself at undergraduate level.  We can also organise practical, hands-on activities. For example:

  • Worshops for Years 5–6 on Lego® Mindstorms Robotics: participants programme robots, enabling them to follow a path and respond to sounds. See also the entry on Robotics down on this page.

  • Workshops for Years 7–9 on Building Your Own Internet: we adress questions such as What is the Internet? How does it work? And how can we maintain privacy and security in something so vast and sprawling? Through games and challenges, we reveal the protocols and algorithms that operate behind the scenes of the Internet.

  • For sixth formers, we give talks on why it is so exciting to study Computer Science at university. Through videos and course material, we explain why algorithms, artificial intelligence, machine learning, distributed and networked systems, and information security are transforming society and the economy.

  • For all ages, we give a taster of how computers can do amazing things that we don't necessarily notice because they are invisible. Participants interact with a box of lights and switches that has a hidden computer and perfoms an impossible task: no matter the way we change it and try to break the way it works, it keeps behaving in the most natural way as if nothing had happened, just like magic!

  • Also for all ages, we give a taster of how sensors are becoming part of our everyday life – The Internet of Things. We have put sensors in dice with which participants play and see something magic happenning.

Examples of scheduled or past activities are listed below.

Cheltenham Science Festival

We have taken part in the Cheltenham Science Festival for four years running. Did you know that they run a schools programme?

Taster Day, Wednesday 22 March 2017

Our annual Taster Day is always popular - a day's programme of demonstrations, talks, and practical work featuring the latest advances in computing technology and research in the Department of Computer Science, including Artificial Intelligence, Bioinformatics, Computer Games, Data Visualisation, Digital Sound and Music, The Internet of Things, Machine Learning, and Robotics.

Programme - the day consists of hands-on practical experiments, interactive demonstrations and informal lectures by some of our academics.

To enjoy this course, you need to be taking A-level in a Science subject, preferably with a strong mathematics component, and considering a computer science degree.

Refreshments and lunch provided by the department.

Bookings are made through the University of London website.

Science Open Day, 2017 - date to be advised

Be inspired by science at the annual Royal Holloway Science Open Day.

Come and be part of our popular day of hands-on activities, demonstrations, talks, live experiments and much more. Presented by staff and students from each of our science departments, as well as guest exhibitors, our packed programme has something for all the family.

Admission free, no booking necessary.


Programming robots is a very effective (and fun) introduction to computer science.  One of our most popular activities with schools is the Lego Robot Egg Race competition, where teams of students construct and program Lego Robots to complete a series of challenges while carrying an egg that they have previously decorated.

Read about the competition between Westgate, Thornden and Kings’ schools in Winchester.

We also offer hands-on programming of Lego EV3 robots on Open Days and you get to drive a two wheeled balancing robot with an Android phone at the Science Fair.

We have also run family-friendly "Program a robot" sessions at Cheltenham Science Festival which were oversubscribed and great fun for everyone.

Teachers: Programming Lego robots is part of our CPD twilight program for Computer Science.

Science Festival 2014 Saturday 7 June high res-4268


For further information, you might also be interested in the main Schools and colleges web page.

Science Festival 2014 Saturday 7 June high res-4243

Contact us

To schedule a visit to the Department or to have one of our academics visit your school, please contact:


Nuno Barreiro

e-mail: Nuno.Barreiro@rhul.ac.uk

Telephone: 01784 443421

 magic eggRace

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