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Inventing the Future: CAS University of Oxford School Conference

Wednesday 7 December 2016 from 9:30am to 5pm

Sorry bookings have now closed for this event.

Oxford University and the Computing at School group are joining forces to offer a one-day taster session giving an insight into the fascinating innovations in Computer Science. The day is aimed at Year 11 Maths and Computing and ICT students and their teachers

University of Oxford's Department of Computer Science and Computing At School (CAS) bring you an exciting day, which showcases future and emerging computing technology. Activities will include:

The day will combine lectures, demonstrations and a practical hands-on session. Speakers include University lecturers and researchers from Oxford and beyond, and the day includes a guest lecture from Paul Curzon on 'The Magic of Computational Thinking'.


This event is open to Year 11 students from UK state schools and colleges and their teachers. Students should have a proven flair for Maths, Science or Computer Science.

When and where

Department of Computer Science, Wolfson Building, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3QD, Wednesday 7 December, 2016 from 9:30am to 5pm. Booking essential. (Booking form below.)


How much does the taster day cost?

This event is free. Attendees should bring their own packed lunches. There is no canteen available on site. Attendees will also need to organize their own transport to Oxford. (See below).

How do I book?

Bookings are now closed.

Please e-mail if you are a UK state school or college, and wish to be placed on the waiting list.

Do attendees need to have studied computer science or ICT to attend?

No, we don't expect any previous knowledge. The way Computer Science is taught at university level, and used in industry, is very different to the ICT taught in schools — this will be reflected in the taster day. All we ask for is enthusiasm to learn and an interest in either Maths, the Sciences or Computer Science.

How many staff members should attend?

Ideally one staff member or parent per group of 10. They need to remain responsible for the group during the day. Schools will also need to fulfill their own policies about trips. Max. 10 students per school; there is no minimum.

My school isn't sending a group, can I book to come on my own?

The day is open to pupils of UK schools. You're welcome to come without your school, but you will need to bring a parent/adult with you. You still need to ask your school to book a place for you - see above.

Will there be a separate programme for parents? I'm just dropping my son/daughter off, do I need to book a parent place?

If you book a parent place you will take part in the same programme of activities as the students. Students under 16 do need to be accompanied by a teacher/parent. Parents are more than welcome to attend, but please be aware that we are limited by the total number of seats in our lecture theatre, so if you don't intend to sit in on the sessions there's no need to reserve a seat/place at the event. If you are booking pupil places, but don't book a parent one you're still welcome to pop in and say "hello" and even have a coffee with us.

How do I get to the venue?

The Department of Computer Science - Wolfson Building - is on the corner of Keble Road and Parks Road in the St Giles area of Oxford — maps and directions can be found here. Please use the No. 7 Keble Road entrance, labelled "OERC". We strongly recommended that you use public transport, if at all possible. If you do travel by car or minibus, please note that parking in the city centre is very limited. There are several Park & Ride bus services which run from car parks on the outskirts of Oxford. If you are brining a minibus please note the Council's pages on access for High Sided Vehicles at Park and Rides.

One of my students particularly wants to apply to Oxford. Should I bring them along?

Yes, they'd be more than welcome. As are your talented students who are less sure of what they want to do. However, please be aware that the day doesn't include sessions on the admissions process, the courses we offer etc, although written information will be available. To find out more about studying at Oxford students should come along to one of our "open days."

I no-longer need all of the places I booked, who do I tell?

Please contact as soon as possible. This event is normally oversubscribed, so we are likely to have a waiting list. Please let us know as soon as you can to allow others to make their travel plans.

Is accommodation available?

Unfortunately we are not able to provide accommodation. If you cannot get to Oxford in one day you may like to consult Oxford Rooms or book accommodation at one of the city's Youth Hostels.

Who are the organisers?

The "Computing At School" group (CAS) is a membership association run by BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. It was created to support and promote the teaching of computer science and other computing disciplines in UK schools. The Department of Computer Science at Oxford University is home to a range of graduate and undergraduate degree courses, and internationally significant programmes of computer science research.

What should I bring with me?

A packed lunch. (Tea, coffee and juice will be available free of charge.) There is nowhere on site to purchase food, and there won't be enough time in the busy schedule to pop out and buy food. Something to make notes with would be useful. As part of the day you'll take a college tour. It will take about an hour, so sensible shoes should be worn, as you will be walking to the college and back (even if it is raining) during this time.

Do I need to wear a suit/come really smartly dressed?

Some students will wear school uniform; others will be more casual. It's entirely up to you. You really don't need to wear a suit (unless of course you really really want to.) It's going to be a long day, so the most important thing is that you're comfortable. As part of the day you'll take a college tour. It will take about an hour, so sensible shoes should be worn, as you will be walking to the college and back during this time.

I've got a question — who do I talk to?

Please contact:

Please note the organisers reserve the right to change the programme without notification or to make alterations to the advertised details for the day at short notice.