TU Wien Informatics

Summer, Sun, SpheroBall: Girls’ IT Summer Camp

  • By Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser
  • 2022-08-09
  • Education Outreach

In eduLAB's workshop “Girls CodeTUgether” young girls learn to program and venture into computational thinking.

Summer, Sun, SpheroBall: Girls’ IT Summer Camp
Picture: Greyson Joralemon / unsplash.com

From July 25-29, 2022, TU Wien Informatics’ eduLAB invited girls aged eleven to thirteen to take their first steps in IT. For one week, the young participants experienced an intensive programming and computer science workshop, with no previous knowledge needed.

Workshop manager Martina Landman and her team not only guided the newcomers through concepts of computational thinking but helped them to develop fundamental programming skills using the languages Scratch and Processing. On day 2, the girls already learned to program their first game.

eduLAB’s core principle is explaining even the most difficult concepts playfully: Using robots, games, and even lego, youngsters can easily overcome difficulties or potential prejudices. That computer science truly is exciting was proclaimed in unison by the girls of this summer’s workshop, who were most keen on learning to program themselves. For example, with Sphero BOLT Coding Robots, small robotic balls that the girls learned to navigate through self-made obstacles and tunnels.

But not only coding is part of the workshops, but programming concepts like loops, branches and variables, and different application areas. The trainers introduced the children to computer science topics like algorithms, AI, and computational thinking. The fact that all participants want to come back next year is certainly not least due to the excellent student-teacher ratio. The girls are taught in small groups, responding to their individual needs and learning progress. The challenge of educating a heterogenous group with different educational contexts is tackled by eduLAB’s experienced trainers, Florentina Voboril, Lukas Lehner, Svetlana Unkovic, and Martina Landman. In any case, the all-girls policy of the workshops is one of the main reasons the girls sign up.

There are always more wonders to discover in IT, so of course, a particular highlight in this summer’s lessons should not be forgotten: The girls were visited by our brand new faculty member “Spot”, the Boston Dynamics robot dog at TU Wien Informatics. A student involved in the research project gave the girls a short but lively demonstration in our courtyard.

Learn more about eduLAB’s workshops, online courses, and further teaching activities here.

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