Computer Science Education

  • Computer science education Ngai Tahu coding workshop

    Ngai Tahu rangitahi combined with students from the University of Delaware in February for a workshop on computer science and programming to explore cultural transmission.

The University of Canterbury has built an enviable reputation for producing Computer Science education resources. Our Outreach programme has three main pillars:

  • Computer Science for Primary Schools (CS4PS)
  • Computer Science for High Schools (CS4HS)
  • Resource creation (for schools, community groups, iwi, runanga to facilitate their own programmes)


CS4PS is Canterbury based and expanding. We are an incubator organisation in that we produce resources and guidance for teachers to run their own programmes. CS for PS has firm ties to literacy and numeracy and is play based. Materials can include Play Doh or beads. It is about making and creating without a computer but prepares children for using a computer. Our resources are tested in schools.

Computer Science Unplugged is an online collection of free learning activities introduce students at all levels to computational thinking through concepts such as binary numbers, algorithms and data compression, separated from the distractions and technical details of having to use computers.

Inclusivity is a strong focus and we have resources that support special needs as well as biculturalism. We were proud to host children from Ngai Tahu recently, with support from Ngai Tahu funds, for a workshop on coding using cultural taonga. Computer Science is ultimately about people - computers and software are merely tools to solve problems for people. 

Our most recent conference was held in January 2017.


CS4HS offers support for NCEA learning. We have produced an online resource called Computer Science Field Guide with interactive activities to support high school students studying Computer Science. We also have a guide for teachers. Our guides support the New Zealand curriculum. We host regular CS4HS conferences with the support of industry sponsors, most recently in 2016.

Postgraduate study

The department contributes to the EDEM 626 and EDEM 665 postgraduate courses for school teachers. The programmes are available through Signal graduate school.

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