A self-made piano desgined and programmed during the Girls' Day event
The Girls' Day 2014 at the Computer Science Department was organized by the Ubiquitous Computing Laboratory. Prof. Dr. Clotilde Rohleder and Prof. Dr. Ralf Seepold welcomed 17 pupils from Konstanz and Singen area.
The topic of this year’s Girl’s Day was ‘Applied Informatics’. Seventeen girls from the Konstanz and Singen area registered via the web portal to become member of the limited number of teams. After a short introduction about a modern and future oriented-view on Informatics and perspectives for women, Prof. Dr. Ralf Seepold and Prof. Dr. Clotilde Rohleder started the hands-on lab sessions. The first lab offered was the construction of an electronic piano. The girls started to configure three hardware circuits and prepared the cabling. The design was based on the well-known Arduino platform that is going to be used in regular lectures for students studying Applied Informatics (AIN), Automotive Information Technology (AIT) or even within the Master of Informatics (MSI). Based on a prototyping solution, the lab team and three women studying in the second and fourth semester developed a well-prepared board design so that the pupils could cope with the complexity. Drawing the piano’s keyboard finished the first phase: a piece of paper, each key filled with soft pencil and later connected to the board via a cable. In a second phase, the development environment was started and the pupils designed a small piece of code. This was possible after they learned how to code decimal numbers and to transform them into the binary numeral system. Compiling and uploading the code to the board closed the second phase. In a short break, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neuschwander (Dean of the Computer Science Department) welcomed the girls; also he underlined the importance to attract young women students in STEM fields (STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). During lunch break, the students exchanged experiences and they asked several questions about the daily life of a student at HTWG or the difference between school and university courses. After lunch, the girls finished their design and they launched the server software that was put on a lab PC. Finished! Now, they started to play, changed sounds and enjoyed their success of the first lab. During a second short break, the guests used the time to get more information about the contents of a first semester student in Informatics. As a second hands-on-lab session, the girls started to design photo frame. The ‘frame’ was showing a continuous flow of photos stored on a memory card. After reassembling the board and connecting a small touch display to the Arduino board, new software was loaded into the development environment and uploaded to the hardware. The girls were amazed about the simplicity to design their own solution and to see themselves appearing in photos made during the previous lab session. In order to maintain the contact, the girls could register to get further information about activities supporting women in technical professions. Special thanks to Beatriz González Hijar, Nergiz Cuva, Xenia Ramich, Patrick Datko and Daniel Scherz who substantially contributed to the success of the event.
Pictures taken during the hands-on-lab session