Experience technology up close, get to know the Department of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology and arouse interest in studying at the Technische Universität Darmstadt – the schoolgirls' project days are designed to inspire girls and young women to study in the STEM field. From 14 to 16 February 2023, schoolgirls from the 5th to 11th grade were allowed to experiment on exciting experimental set-ups and gain insights into research topics of the department.
The dancing robot
The workshop “The Dancing Robot” at Professor Mario Kupnik's Lab of Measurement and Sensor Technology was led by the two research assistants Sonja Wismath and Stephan Schaumann. In the workshop, a total of 22 children from the 5th and 6th classes assembled the 3D-printed robot “Otto”, calibrated the servo motors built into the legs and feet and taught it various movements and sounds by means of programming. In addition, with the help of ultrasonic eyes – and appropriate programming – the little robots can cleverly avoid obstacles or dance around them.
The decoding of light and colour
For 15 7th and 8th grade pupils, Professor Tran Quoc Khanh's Lab of Adaptive Lighting Systems and Visual Processing offered the workshop “Decoding of Light and Colours”. Under the guidance of the two research assistants Tim Hegemann and David Hoffmann, the children first learned how light can be broken down into its spectra and then made LEDs shine or flash in different colours. A laboratory tour was also on the programme.
The non-invasive measurement of pulse and oxygen saturation in the blood was the programme in the workshop “Well saturated?” at Professor Klaus Hofmann's Lab of Integrated Electronic Systems. Research assistant Ferdinand Keil guided 18 8th and 9th grade schoolgirls in setting up an experimental platform. Over the three days, the girls learned how to control the various functions of the platform, such as LEDs, a buzzer and sensors, with Python. Finally, a finger clip was connected to the board and its sensors were used to determine pulse and oxygen saturation.
Sending energy through the air
The workshop “Sending Energy through theA air” was offered at the Computational Electromagnetics Lab of Professor Sebastian Schöps for 10th and 11th grade students. In this workshop, electromagnetic fields were examined under the direction of research assistants Anna Ziegler and Maximilian Nolte. In addition to technical lectures on the topic of studies and research, magnetic fields were mainly examined in practice by building an electric motor and in theory with the help of a simulation in the CST Studio Suite® software.
The Project Days for Schoolgirls were rounded off by a closing event with the participants of all workshops and all those involved in the project days for schoolgirls. The Gender Equality Team of the Department etit thanked all workshop leaders and presented the information offers at the Department etit, so that interested participants could inform themselves further about the contents of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology as well as about studying at the department. Afterwards, there was an exchange of experiences between the different workshops. The project days were concluded with a joint lunch in a cosy atmosphere of exchange.
Project Days for Schoolgirls at etit
The schoolgirls' project days were launched in 2017 by the department's Gender Equality Team. It is a multi-stage concept that provides various workshops for female students in grades 5 to 11, depending on their age group. In three-day workshops offered by different laboratories, schoolgirls learn about the diverse topics of the department. Due to the possibility of visiting the university or the department repeatedly as part of the project days, the participants should be sustainably inspired to choose a technical course of study. In 2020, the Project Days for Schoolgirls were awarded the Franziska Braun Prize for innovative gender equality approaches by the Carlo and Karin Giersch Foundation at TU Darmstadt.
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