Thursday 26 April 2007

Girls' day at Fraunhofer in Birlinghoven

In Germany there are still too few girls and women interested in studying technical subjects – it may have different reasons but I think trying to convince young girls that technology is really exciting is a good way of addressing the problem.

We had this morning 7 girls visiting our lab. Matching our current teaching at B-IT (and using the test implementation Dagmar made ;-) we offered the topic “The computer knows where I am – how does this work”. First we played a mini geocaching game where they had to find a bag of jelly babies behind the castle.

After they had some experience with GPS and an electronic map we explained how it works and even parse together a NMEA-0183 sentence. We also discussed some application ideas, e.g. kids monitoring with GPS. The discussion, in particular the privacy issues that came up, were quite interesting.

I can really see that for some projects running focus groups with kids could be fun for them and a great value for the projects.

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