The Ghent University Summer School, an event co-organised by IDLAB-AIRO, was once again an immense success. In total, 160 children visited our campus to partake in STEM-field related activities.
This year’s Summer School, an event co-organised by IDLAB-AIRO, was once again an immense success. More than 160 children visited our campus to partake in STEM-field related activities. Participants between the ages of 10 and 14 were able to look inside the minds of professors and researchers and learn about various STEM-principles, such as computational thinking, programming, and abstraction. Our own activity, programming a smile, allowed children to go through the steps of designing and building a social robot of their own. They went from the drawing board to the simulator and ended up with their own real life build within the span of 4 – 5 hours.
“The purpose is not to turn the children into miniature scientists or to go over and reiterate the goals from the previous school year. Calculus, language, science… all these elements are directly or indirectly present in the workshops. We want to stimulate, enthuse and motivate. If they can bring this enthusiasm with them to class in September and it perpetuates throughout other fields, our mission will have been successful.” - Prof. Francis wyffels, UGent.
Apart from the social robot workshop, the faculty of Engineering and Architecture organised other workshops, with the same aim to enthuse teenagers for STEM and STEM-related fields. Other activities provided consisted out of:
- creating ‘green’ concrete;
- how to make a steamship;
- how to protect against flooding;
- learning scientific thinking;
- soldering electronic dice;
- how to escape from a maze;
- problem solving with riddles.
See the faculty STEM website for a complete list.