On the 28th May 2022, we were invited to Taastrup City Gymnasium to host a workshop for 70 students. This is by far the biggest workshop we have done, and we are grateful to have gotten the chance to reach such a large audience. The aim of the workshop was to reach out to those who have not been considering a career within STEM, therefore we took on the responsibility to tell and show them what STEM is all about.
The day started with us giving an introduction to NWiSTEM and ourselves. At the workshop, 3 of our role models were present: Julie, Jackii, and Neha. Julie studies biochemistry at the University of Copenhagen, and she’s been on a semester abroad to Boston University, which allowed her to tell the students about how it has been to study biochemistry and talk about all the great opportunities that exist. Jackii and Neha are both electrical engineering students from the Technical University of Denmark, but Jackii’s studies are more focused on bio robotics, whereas Neha focuses on the electric energy system. Therefore, they told the students about how broad the field is, and how future career options with a degree in electrical engineering are endless.
After the presentation, the students were divided into 2 groups. On the day, we ran 2 workshops; a robotics and a micro:bit workshop. This allowed us to do more focused workshops with 2 small groups. Both the workshops started with an introduction to the coding program, and how to code followed with the task of the day.
In the robotics workshop, the students were given the task of coding the robot in a manner, so that it may be utilized in a hospital. This is to show the students how helpful robots can be in a life situation. The idea was well received by the students, and they decided to get very creative with how to code the robots. We decided to keep the workshop quite open-ended, as this allowed the students to come with own ideas, as to where in a hospital the robot could be introduced. There were many great ideas, for example a robot was coded, so that it may be used to scan patient’s health insurance cards when they come into the hospital.
In the micro:bit workshop, the students were given the task of coding their microcontrollers so that it may be used as an alarm. The micro:bits are small devices which after being coded can be utilized in different scenarios. The aim of this was to show how we can use such devices for our benefit in everyday life, and how easy it can be to integrate such devices. The basis code for the micro:bit was given to the students, and they were given the task of further personalising it. The code worked in such a way that it could be used with for example a bag, if the bag was being stolen and lifted upwards, then the micro:bit would start making noises until stopped by pressing a set sequence of buttons.
At the end of the day, all the students presented their ideas and showcased their ideas to the others in the same workshop as them. We followed this by a small survey, which shows that the students thoroughly enjoyed coding with us, and they also felt that it was a day full of learning.
Lastly, I would like to warmly welcome Julie Birch and Jackii Seligmann into the NWiSTEM team. We are happy to be expanding, and love to see how passionate the current women in STEM are towards encouraging younger women to join STEM. It was a pleasure to visit Taastrup City Gymnasium and meet the students and the teachers there. We hope, we will be working with them again. We would also like to give a special thanks to Lars who is the vice principal at Taastrup City Gymnasium for planning this workshop with us, and to the other teachers who were present on the day to help us. A special thanks to TuborgFondet – without whom such events would not be possible.