Teenagers teach how to program robots with Free Software

Four years ago, I helped organising a FreeDroidz workshop with the goal to enable more people to held workshops, teaching children how to program with Free Software. Unfortunately due to several reasons, mainly connected with the fact that time is finite, we did not see a raise in workshops afterwards. Each time I thought about the project it made me a bit sad that the FSFE did not have more resources to work on it.

A lot of teenagers in front of the Chemnitzer Linuxtage building

So I was very happy to learn at Chemnitzer Linuxtage that Teckids e.V. now included the FreeDroidz workshop into their program. Luckily Guido Arnold from FSFE’s education team was also there so he could directly talk with organisers. He will make sure that our people involved in this activity will know about the good news, and how they can participate.

Teckids e.V. offer workshops for 10 to 16 year olds to build robots with different sensors (light, sound, or ultrasonic) and program them to do cool things by using Free Software. It is important for our society that the next generations have a very good understanding how our computers work, so they can shape the society in which they want to live in. What I like most about the new concept is, that it is not adults teaching children how to do this, but former participants who act as tutors for others in their age.

Beside the FreeDroidz workshops they also offer to learn programming games with PyGame, creating movies with blender, or how to use GNU/Linux. All of that organised by tutors in the age from 10-16.

The next workshop will be from 22 to 24 August 2014 at FrOSCon in Sankt Augustin, and you can register for the event on the Teckids website (in German). For FrOSCon I already want to thank Sascha Goetzke (12), Nico Paas (11), Eike Tim Jesinghaus (13), Robin Seerig (12) and Simon Bruder (10). They will help other teenagers to understand how computers work and to experience that tinkering around with Free Software is a lot of fun.

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