Melanie Hoppen |

Review “Jugend hackt – Mädchen vernetzen”

This year Jugend hackt started with a very special event to kick off 2020. With “Mädchen vernetzen”, Jugend hackt was held for the first time specifically for a select target group. In this case, adolescents who are into programming and define themselves as female were invited. We supported this event to promote girls in the MINT sector financially with sponsoring and goodies for the participants and mentors. The Jugend hackt team would like to offer their sincere thanks.

The name says it all
With 17 participants, Jugend hackt was a guest at the research center in Jülich for the first time from February 7th to 9th. Together with ten honorary mentors from the IT sector, the media-educational organization team and colleagues from the research center in Jülich, the location was well-filled. Networking for girls - that is what was important during the weekend. The objective was to create a forum where the participants can follow their project ideas with kindred spirits. The focus was on the exchange with each other, trying things out and learning new abilities, but also the thoughts of empowerment.


Project work in Makerspace (source: CC-BY 4.0 Jugend hackt, image: Karoline Kaczmarczyk)
Project work in Makerspace (source: CC-BY 4.0 Jugend hackt, image: Karoline Kaczmarczyk)

What was different?
Over the weekend, both beginners and participants familiar with Jugend hackt were welcome. Before brainstorming, they initially tried out the technology brought along. Because as we all know, every mature idea is prefaced by trial and error ;) The participants gained new experiences with programming language as well as the operation and programming possibilities of robotics at the different topic tables. Furthermore, the mentors Julia, Claudia and Daniela provided an introduction to the topic of open data and the online administration tool GIT as a lightning talk.  The research center also invited us to view their supercomputer. On Sunday, the large storm Sabine came to the research center without even being invited, which is why the event had to be ended two hours earlier than planned.

Orga: If one of you turns on the dog robot again, I will go crazy! I just got that out of my head.


What happened?
Despite small changes to the program, the Jugend hackt atmosphere remained the same. The participants brainstormed together, formed teams, discussed hacker ethics, maybe did not sleep enough, laughed and coded. The team also had a large maker space where things were put together, sawed and printed throughout the entire weekend. The result was five great projects that will improve the world with code. The participants presented these on Sunday to an audience in the auditorium at the research center. 

Participant: Can I use the saw?
Mentor: Go ahead! But put a board under it!


The projects

The “Politics isn’t magic” group during their final presentation (source: CC-BY 4.0 Jugend hackt, image: Karoline Kaczmarczyk)


At the end of the weekend, friends and families could admire five exciting projects in the auditorium at the research center in Jülich.

The “Dunkybridge” project made the start. Learning vocabulary is often very boring. That is why the team thought about how to make learning more fun with the aid of exciting game worlds. Different levels should motivate the user to learn vocabulary and to not lose interest while doing so.

Many students are currently protesting against the climate change. “Veggy 4 Fun” also thought about how it can provide a contribution. Many people find it difficult to be a vegetarian or vegan. In order to make this change easier, they developed an app that presents recipes and sustainable food items.

The “Hallo Welt” team also dealt with the topic of sustainability during this weekend.  The developers published tips, hacks, DIYs and recipes on their website to show the society how easy it can be to pay attention to the environment.

With the interactive VR game “Politics isn’t magic”, the team wants to point out the low participation in elections and show that young people are very committed to politics. With individual story lines, the users are animated to use their voice and to not lose interest in politics.

A nice hardware project rounded off the event. The “Luk” garbage robot detects garbage and throws it away. This should make streets and forests cleaner. This is accompanied by a website that can show where the dirty places are.

Mentor: Have you ever programmed a dash?
Participant: No... oh! That is just as easy as with Scratch! I know how to do that!

Do you have any questions or comments? Then please leave us a comment.

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