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The Computer Science for Fun Project

cs4fn is a global campaign to enthuse and teach both students and others about inter-disciplinary computer science research. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) it is also supported by industry with particular support from Google. Here we overview the project and provide evaluation results about its success.


We believe computing should be fun and based on an understanding of a knowledge base of core computing concepts. Doing this in the context of leading edge research is a powerful and engaging way to achieve this. When combined with off-beat links to everyday concepts and "unplugged" learning techniques, learning is both fun and deep.

We provide knowledge-based interdisciplinary computer science resources to support teachers The core of this is a free magazine sent twice yearly to schools, live interactive shows and a webzine that gained 14.9 million hits in the last year. cs4fn articles and shows present interdisciplinary computer science research in a fun, accessible and offbeat way. We also have developed a range of "unplugged" style classroom activities to make learning computing fun whether as a hobby, in a computing club or in lessons.

cs4fn provides a unique channel for researchers to engage with the general public and communicate the excitement of their research. It provides a non-traditional way to make a big global impact.

Through our events at science festivals and in schools, participants have the opportunity to get actively involved in learning more deeply about interdisciplinary computer science research by having a dialogue with the researchers themselves.

In addition to actually exciting people about the subject, as part of the cs4fn project we are investigating what works and what doesn't to enthuse people about computer science as well as science and engineering research more generally. This has led to a series of research publications disseminating our results.

Project directors

  • Paul Curzon
  • Peter McOwan
  • Jonathan Black

Project Evaluation

As the 5 years of EPSRC funding of cs4fn draw to a close, multiple strands of evidence are being gathered together into a final evaluation. Early highlights of several strands of evidence are captured here to create a picture of the depth and reach of cs4fn accomplishments. An overview of achievements and results of the separate evaluation strands is given here.