Computational Thinking Tales

frog-PIXABAY48234Here are some future tales, fables, fairy tales and not-so-fairy tales about computational thinking…Learn about computing concepts like bits and bytes, through stories.

We are looking for more original ‘Computational Thinking Tales’ to publish here. If you or your students have great stories you would like us to print here, that also surreptitiously teach something about Computing like the ones below, then send them to I’m afraid we can’t pay for for them, but we will send a small cs4fn thank you gift to the authors of any we do like enough to publish. You will retain copyright.


Robot is a short story by Ruth Aylett, a professor of computer science at Heriot-Watt University. She builds robots for a living. She also likes writing fiction, so wrote this story about robot companions for cs4fn, the sort she works on for real.

A Godlike Heart

A Godlike Heart is a short story about computational thinking, introducing the idea of using binary to represent different kinds of information. Set in ancient Mexico it follows the story of the kidnapping of and subsequent search for the daughter of a great “Jaguar Knight”: a general in the Mexican army.

The Glue Pot

A tale set in the same forested lands of the fairy tales, but about computational thinking rather than fairy godmothers. It is about the efficiency of algorithms, about the importance of doing tasks in the right way and of parallel algorithms…  Or perhaps its nothing about computational thinking at all, and is really all about never writing any one off and instead about getting the best out of people.

A Visit to the Turing Machine

A short story about a future where computers have been outlawed because of their destructive effect on society. A Turing Machine is worshiped as a reminder of all that went wrong. It was written for cs4fn by Greg Michaelson a professor of computer science at Heriot-Watt University.

The Queen of the North

This short story by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary University of London, told as a fairy story is the story of two Queens of neighbouring lands. It is a spy story that includes important lessons about cyber security … and it contains a lot of truth…

You are what you know

‘You are what you know’ is a byte sized spy story by Paul Curzon of Queen Mary University of London to make you think cyber security. A spy has set up a meeting with their new handler. A pass phrase has been agreed …

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