Since autumn 2013, TELECOM Nancy has regularly offered a free “Prog4kids” workshop to introduce you to computer programming for children aged 4 to 15 .
PROG4KIDS at TELECOM Nancy
Initiated by Claire CALESTROUPAT , graduating class of 2000 and Martin QUINSON , teacher-researcher and supervised by graduates, teacher-researchers and students of the school, these workshops, completely free, are a great success with each edition with dozens of ” registered on the waiting list, witnesses of a real demand on these themes.
To date, more than 150 children have been able to try their hand, among other things, at creating video games with Scratch and robotics with Thymio and Lego Mindstorms robots (Arduino, Python or Greenfoot, among others, also appear in the program of certain sessions).
2 to 3 sessions are organized each school year.
TELECOM Nancy students also provide computer initiation workshops at the Château primary school.
As part of a partnership agreement between Inria Nancy – Grand Est , the primary school of the Château (Villers-lès-Nancy) and TELECOM Nancy , our engineering students regularly work with schoolchildren in a computer initiation workshop. This activity has its origins in the workshop ” Codcodcoding ”carried out on the same theme since 2014 within the MJC social center Nomade de Vandeuvre, with the support of the Inria Nancy – Grand Est center.
Thus, on certain Thursday afternoons, TELECOM Nancy students supervise CM1 students within the framework of “the arrangement of the child’s time” (ATE).
On the menu, an introduction to computer programming with “ Scratch ”, a tool developed by the prestigious MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and very easy to use.
Tiphaine Payen, Benjamin Hugel, Erwan Schild and Pierre-Arnaud Blanc, engineering students from TELECOM Nancy, tell us about their experience:
“During the first session, we decided to let the schoolchildren discover the software, its multitude of characters, backgrounds and possibilities. Some gave us wonderful personalized backgrounds while others discovered sounds. Quickly, dozens and dozens of “Meow” (default sound) invaded the room, followed by other sounds. We got to know the kids a little bit and we helped them discover Scratch and its possibilities.
The following workshops are more punctuated by “exercises” which guide the session (draw a square, make a rose window, create a labyrinth and have a character move around it, create a ping-pong game resembling one of the first video games created, etc.) and it seems to appeal to the participants.
In parallel with the exercises, we have to deal with the children who finish too quickly and those who are lagging behind. We have therefore implemented bonuses in our exercises to occupy those who are ahead.
We also often run around the room to sort out the “characters that have disappeared” or the “lines that must be erased” during the drawings, but on the whole the exercises are progressing well.
On the preparation side, we meet 30 minutes before to discuss what we are going to do, or we exchange by email beforehand. We also do a quick point at the end of the sessions; nothing very formal, but we are talking about what went well and what needs to be changed.
Regarding the returns, the children seem delighted! At the end of the first session they all came to tell us that it was great, that they could not wait to see you next week!
For our part, we appreciate a lot and we are happy to see them take so much pleasure in discovering IT, in forgetting their prejudices (“IT is for intellectuals” according to some during the first session) . In short, a great experience so far! ”