Countess of Lovelace

Countess of Lovelace © Crown copyright: UK Government Art Collection

Knowledge and skills

  • Significant individuals in history
  • Asking questions
  • Critical thinking
  • Historical concepts
  • Historical enquiry
  • Algorithms

Who would ever have imagined that the very first computer programmer lived 170 years ago? We take a look at Ada Lovelace, mathematician and a coding role model.

Start by displaying the image of Ada Lovelace on the whiteboard. What can they tell you about what they see? What era do they think the painting is from? What kind of person do they think she is?

After a short discussion explain to the children that it is a portrait of Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852). It was painted in 1836 just after Ada’s marriage to William King, and was painted by a very famous Victorian artist Margaret Sarah Carpenter (see the ‘Ada Lovelace portrait teachers’ notes’ resource below).

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