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Gettingstartedwithprogramming

Schoolchildrenmakelampslightupandrobotsdrivearoundinthenawi:wharft(nawi:werft)oftheKielScienceFactory(KielerForschungswerkstatt).Theyalsolearnthatprogrammingisnotonlyfornerds.

Young people pottering around
JulianSattelmacher,Theodor-Storm-SchuleKiel

Potteringaroundwithrobotvehiclesrequiresnotonlyprogrammingknowledgebutalsotechnicalandmanualskills.

Moderntechnologyisever-presentintheeverydaylifeofchildrenandyoungpeople.Dealingwithitisnormal,understandinghowsmartphones,homeelectronicsorcoffeemachinesworkis,however,ararity.Weenableschoolchildreninthenawi:werfttotakealookintotheblackboxesofeverydaylife,explainedFrankLthjohann,initiatoroftheroboticssessionsattheKielScienceFactory.LthjohannteachesnaturalsciencesatLilli-Martius-SchuleinKielElmschenhagenandworksasaresearchassociateattheLeibnizInstituteforScienceandMathematicsEducation(IPN).Inhiswork,heiscommittedtotheprincipleoflearningbydoing.Throughpracticalworkwithmicro-controllersandmini-robots,girlsandboysgettoknowthelogicandthesensortechnologybehindourdigitalworldinasimpleandvividway,stressedthescienceteacher.Thisknowledgeattheinterfaceofcomputerscience,naturalscience,technologyanddesignhasrarelybeentaughtatschoolsbefore.

Thenawi:werftfillsthisgapwithitssessionsforwholeschoolclasses,afternoonsessionsforinterestedschoolchildrenaswellasfurthertrainingforteachers.TheopensourceplatformArduinoisusedtoimplementroboticsprojects.Itallowsvariousthingstobecontrolledviaprogrammablemicro-controllers.Lthjohann:Youcanintegratesensors,controlmotorsorlightuplamps.Withinashortspaceoftime,smallgroupsofschoolchildrenbuildarobotvehiclethat,forexample,canmanoeuvrearoundobjects.Thechildrenaregivenaboxfullofallsortsofusefulmaterialsforthetechnicalandcreativedesignoftheirrobot.AftervisitingtheKielScienceFactory,aclasscantakeuptotenvehiclesandmaterialboxesawaywiththem.Theideaisforthevehiclestobeequippedwithfurthertechnicaldetailsorartisticaccessoriesduringschoollessons.Theschoolclassescanpresenttheirrobotsinacompetitionataneventlikelytobeheldon6JuneatCamp24/7ontheKiellinie.Thebestrobotswillbeawardedaprizeacrossvariouscategories.

Thefreesessionsatthenawi:werftaresupportedbyannualfundingof10,000fromregionalenergysupplierKielerStadtwerke.Theyareaimedatclassesfromgrades6to9atcommunityschools(Gemeinschaftsschulen)andarealsodesignedtoprovideinsightintonewlyemergingandfundamentallychangingjobprofiles.Lthjohann:Anotheraimistoencourageschoolchildrentothinkaboutgoingintoprofessionsinthisfield,asthereisagreatshortageofskilledworkersinthissector.Itisimportanttotheeducationalscientistthatthesessionsarenotdirectedexplicitlyatcomputernerdsbutratheratthosewhoarenotnecessarilyintoprogramming.Wewanttobreakdownthebarriertoprogrammingandtechnicalconstruction,addedIPNcolleagueHeikeGroth.Youdon'tnecessarilyhavetodoadegreeinthesubjectifyouwanttoworkinthisarea.Therearelotsoftraining-basedjobs,too.

Author:KerstinNees

Whatsonofferforthosethirstyforknowledge

KielScienceFactory(KielerForschungswerkstatt)isajointinstitutionofKielUniversity(CAU)andtheLeibnizInstituteforScienceandMathematicsEducation(IPN).Inthethematiclaboratories,pupils,teachersandstudentteachersdealwithscientificquestionsfromthemarineandnano-sciences.Theylearnmoreaboutthesocialaspectsofenergy,gainaccesstocurrenttopicsfromhumanmedicineandbiologicalresearch,buildingandprogrammingrobotvehiclesorlearnwhysoilismorethanjustdirt.Thehumanitiesworkshopsofferprogrammesfromthefieldsoflanguage,artandtheology,aswellasonhistorical-politicaltopics.(hgh)

www.forschungs-werkstatt.de