From June 26 to July 7, 2017, the Net Media Lab of the Institute of Informatics and Telecommunications, organized a Summer School of Coding and Robotics for young people aged 13-16. The Summer School was organized in the framework of the Erasmus+ Project «Code and Youth: An Innovative Program in the Digital Era».
Five organizations from four European countries, participated in the «Code and Youth: An Innovative Program in the Digital Era» project, namely:
– Culture Goes Europe CGE Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V – Germany
– National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” – Greece
– Cyprus Computer Society (CCS) – Cyprus
– Private Institute Emphasys Centre – Cyprus and
– Associazione di Promozione Sociale Futuro Digitale – Italy
The main purpose of this project was to design, implement and evaluate a summer program that will introduce young people (13 to 16 years old) to the world of Coding and Robotics, utilizing the long summer vacation period creatively. Through the Summer School, young participants had the opportunity not only to be taught Programming and Robotics but also to get in touch with areas with which they might want to be involved in their studies or their profession.
Three (3) teachers and nineteen (19) pupils aged between 13 and 16 participated in the Summer school. The lessons were held daily from 10:00-14:00 at the Teaching Room of the Educational Building of NCSR «Demokritos». The first week of the program was devoted to Programming. During this week, students had the opportunity to get in touch with Basic Programming Concepts, learn basic Programming Commands and Data Structures, and practice on exercises in Visual Basic Programming Language on computers. The second week was devoted to Robotics. Students, using the basic knowledge they acquired in the first week, programmed Edison Educational robots to perform specific functions. At the end of the second week, an Edison Robots programming contest was held in the classroom.
An e-platform (http://summerchallenge.iit.demokritos.gr/) was developed to support the Summer School. The platform was used as an e-class, in order to organize and make course material available, to facilitate communication between participants and to informally assess the students with the use and award of open digital badges to the pupils, which were created specifically for the needs of this project.
Finally, within the framework of the Summer School, some additional Educational Activities were organized. The first concerned a speech about the Demokritos’ Research Nuclear Reactor by one of its operators, Mr. Yannis Tsourounakis, and aimed at bringing students into contact with the concept of Nuclear Physics, Chemistry and Energy in general, to inform them and maybe attract their attention to these fields. The second concerned a teleconference that took place between the students and the teachers of Greece and Cyprus. Through the videoconference, Greek and Cypriot participants had the opportunity to get to know each other and to exchange experiences about the Summer Program and the Summer School.