Below you will see a status report on the focus of one of the SITKids from the SAP community. The event described below was the SITKidsBern and took place on 09/09/2017 at the same time as SITBern.
SITKids is a non-profit event that was supported by the volunteer efforts of all those involved and with the help of sponsors.
This time it involved a group of 22 children ages 5 to 11. Most of the children were between 7 and 9 years.
The goal of SITKids is to convey a sense of enjoyment in using technology. Even children who have not yet used a computer were to be given a basic introduction to topics like sensor technology, programming, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
There were seven stations distributed among three areas. The areas of robotics, programming, and sensor technology were each set up in two separate closed spaces. Drone technology was housed in the corridor.
The day was divided into two large blocks. In the morning there was time to try everything out. All the children circulated through all stations in small groups of up to three children, and they were given about 20 minutes at each station. In the afternoon, each child could pick one station and work on a project of their choosing with a new team. At the end of the project phase, the children were able to present their projects to all of the adults and were appropriately rewarded with loud applause.
Every station was supported with adult coaches. The coaches had familiarized themselves with the materials and respective special features of the technology in advance and were able to guide the children through the projects. The coaches’ varying professional backgrounds were very helpful. They gave the children technical, practical, and social guidance. Afterward, the stations in each area are introduced with their coaches. Every station had its own “kiddie name” to clearly indicate the opportunities, for example LittleBits was given the addition "Kid Creators".
I personally recommend the assistance of as many interested parents as possible in order to guarantee quick and easy discourse with the children.
The Sensor Space is a very loud area, therefore it should be separated acoustically.
LittleBits are small electronic components that are held together by magnets and which can help both big kids and little kids understand the fundamentals of electronics. The components can be connected with craft supplies to let young creators make new things. For example, we had a cell phone cleaner, a tickle machine, a prank handshake, and much more.
This is one of the most creative devices in the programming environment. With Makey Makey, anything imaginable, even the most unlikely things, can be converted into a touchpad or keyboard. These controls can be used to make music, play games, and experiment. The children built a step piano and much more with the assistance of the coaches.
Area 2 is a quiet area and requires more concentration so it should also be kept acoustically separate.
Basic skills in Scratch:
All the robots in this area were programmed in environments similar to Scratch. For this reason, the children were given basic training in Scratch so they could understand the communication channels between computer, program, and robot. Some of them developed their own short program with the help of their coach.
WeDo 2.0 offers elementary school children an excellent opportunity to learn about programming in a very hands-on manner. With the LEGO® bricks, the user-friendly software, and interesting STEM projects, the instructors have everything they need to give students a first exposure to programming skills.
LEGO® Education WeDo 2.0 was developed to motivate and promote the interest of elementary school children in the natural sciences and other technical subjects. WeDo 2.0 was designed for teaching science in the elementary school.
It was a great introductory station for the first contact with computers and codeing.
With the MINDSTORM series, LEGO has been offering robotic building components for more than a decade to fans of technology, regardless of their age. Every set includes a programmable microcontroller along with a large number of LEGO technology elements which can be connected to various actors and sensors. In accordance with the LEGO philosophy, such components can be used to build a variety of robots in the form of humanoids, animals, vehicles, or machines. Users can program the behavior of the robot they have built. There are a variety of environments and languages available. Mindstorm requires basic experience with Lego technology and some initial programming experience.Our Coach had prepared several scenarios in order to show the kids the variety and options.
The MBot is a small robot that can be programmed in an environment based on Scratch, as well as others. There is also the option of programming the MBot with apps. The robot has a USB interface, and it is also possible to program it via Bluetooth at 2.4GHz. Several sensors are included, such as light sensor, infrared sensor, etc.The design of the MBot is interesting – all components can be seen from the outside and the electrical connections are visible, making the robot-computer communication more "visible”.
Our Coach made the robots draw and the control and paths were visible.
The Jumping Night drone makes precise turns and travels every route. It is controlled with the fingertips in three different control modes. It can be actively addressed in direct control as well as in a programmer mode.Programmer mode is a big challenge because the children have to be able to measure routes in order to transfer the twists and turns to the computer. Thanks to our coach, all the children handled the task splendidly.