Creating a protected contact to computer science for young girls, using illustrated short stories and an interactive learning robot.
In the age of digitalization, to be an empowered citizen requires control over technology. This makes the quota of women in technical professions and computer science education all the more alarming.
Fewer and fewer women dare to study informatics. The reason for this is the existing stereotypes and lack of role models for women in computer science.
Alice creates a protected and simple first contact to computer science for young girls, with illustrated bedtime stories to read aloud and an accompanying Interactive Learning Robot called Lua.
The Stories focus on the little girl Alice, who together with her robot companion Lua travels through time to answer small and large questions about technology. On their journey, they meet great women in the history of computer science like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, and Margaret Hamilton.
The Story of the books is supplemented through educational games that can be played using the physical Robot. These games mirror theoretical concepts in computer science, all without using a single screen-based interface. Instead, Lua has to be programmed using physical cards and a modular electronic component system. Cards have to be scanned, the information saved on small building blocks, and then physically built into the robot.
This is done with the core Design Philosophy of Lua in mind: to foster and reward curiosity, through a deep focus on understandability, modifiability, and reusability.
By focusing on big women in computer science history and distancing computer science from displays, computers, and programming, gender stereotypes in the minds of girls and their parents are being addressed to promote more equality in the computer science industry and empower young girls to follow their passion.
|University of Applied Science Darmstadt h_da, Faculty Media, Interactive Media Design
|Type of project