Friday, 26 June 2009

Making Computer Science Exciting for Children - Kinderuniversität

Petra is teaching at the primary school in Satteldorf. As there is no University close by we decided to have a university afternoon at school. The idea behind this (in German Kinderuniversität) is to get young children excited for scientific topics and show that research is fun. The lecture should make them curious and motivate them to ask fundamental questions.

My lecture was on principles and technologies for communication (in German) and we looked fundamentally at what information is, how it relates to probabilities, how to encode information, and what devices people used and use for communication. For me this was a very exciting experience and also showed that we (as a discipline Computer Science) should probably look more into didactic and how to communicate fundamentals of our subject in school. So far many students associated computer science with using PowerPoint :-( but there are interesting starting points, e.g. a German book on algorithms for school children [1].

[1] Vöcking, B.; Alt, H.; Dietzfelbinger, M.; Reischuk, R.; Scheideler, C.; Vollmer, H.; Wagner, D. (Ed.). Taschenbuch der Algorithmen. 2008, ISBN: 978-3-540-76393-2

1 comment:

lisa said...

Teaching small children about a computer is simpler now, but teaching them to know and identify parts are difficult. I created some concise flashcards,which I am planning to use with the class next month. What is your opinion on this method?( and also on these flashcards)