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Digital Skills Special: inspiring children to explore the IT Sector

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On Tuesday, June 27, 2023, JADS and JINC, joined forces to organize the second Digital Skills Special event at JADS. JINC is a national non-profit organization fighting for equal opportunities for children in the Netherlands, so that the place where you are born does not determine your future. JINC does this through various projects where children learn what kind of work suits their talents. The Digital skills special event aimed to introduce children from group 7 and group 8 of elementary school KC Westerbreedte to the exciting world of the IT sector and help them discover their talents in this field. The morning was filled with an interactive lecture, engaging workshop, and lots of fun.

Opening of the event

The event started with an opening talk by Ufuk Kâhya, Alderman of the municipality of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. Liesbeth Leijssen from JADS and Meghan van den Heuvel representing JINC also took the stage to welcome the children.

Children’s Lecture: “Who is smarter? Computer or human?”

Professors Max Louwerse and Eric Postma, faculty members of JADS, delivered an engaging children’s lecture on the theme of “Who is Smarter? Computer or Human?” The lecture was designed to be interactive, encouraging the children to actively participate. The professors posed a series of questions, and the children had the opportunity to decide whether the computer or human was smarter by holding up a blue or red card. It was an exciting session that ignited the children’s curiosity about the capabilities of technology. The lecture ended with a Q&A session.

Workshop: The Sandwich robot

After the talk, the children took part in a workshop called “The Sandwich Robot”. Various companies, including Ordina, Team Rockstars IT, ilionx Overheid, ilionx, McCoy, Hello New Day, Telengy, Floryn, and JADS in collaboration with Police Oost-Brabant, organized this workshop. The workshop involved creating a step-by-step plan for a robot that had to make a sandwich with butter and sprinkles.

Professionals from Hello New Day asked the children, “Do you think it would be nice to have a home sandwich robot?” Student: “But don’t we have our parents for that?”

The goal was to make a precise plan, giving the robot clear instructions to make a perfect sandwich. The workshop taught the children about the complexities of programming and the importance of giving precise instructions to machines.

The children enthusiastically embraced the challenge and carefully planned their steps. As the robot, played by one of the professionals of one of the companies, followed the children’s instructions, it became evident that even a small mistake could lead to unexpected outcomes.

“Grab the sprinkles… in a regular way.” – One of the students giving an instruction to the robot.

The children quickly learned that forgetting essential instructions, like “stop using the sprinkles,” would result in the robot putting too many sprinkles on the sandwich.

Lunch and conclusion

After a morning filled with learning and exploration, the children returned to school. The professionals from the companies gathered to enjoy a well-deserved lunch. The Digital Skills Special event at JADS successfully achieved its goal of introducing children from diverse backgrounds to the IT sector.

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