Girls' Day at the Institute for Computer Science
This year's Girls' Day took place on April 25, 2013, when technical companies, companies with technical departments and apprenticeships, universities and research centers throughout Germany open their doors to schoolgirls from grade 5. The Institute of Computer Science at TU Clausthal offered a varied program for interested participants as part of Girls' Day this year as well. Joachim Schramm, M.Sc., the organizer of the computer science event: "10 of the 60 schoolgirls who came to the Clausthal Girls' Day were interested in computer science and participated in our workshop". After an overview lecture on "What is computer science?", the participants were able to learn about the challenges of eliciting and communicating requirements for software systems -- an important activity for software engineers -- by playing a game with Lego bricks. After that, things got creative and the girls got to create their first business process models: Using paper, glue, and scissors, they crafted activity diagrams describing the process of going to the movies (see photo). Finally, the participants were able to gain practical experience in using the computer-aided collaboration system LASAD. LASAD supports systematic argumentation by collecting pros and cons on certain topics, relating them to each other and weighing them against each other. For example, our students discussed whether mobile phones should be banned at school, whether driving licences should be issued at the age of 16 and whether maths can be dropped in the upper school. Supervisor Joachim Schramm draws a positive balance: "The response of the participants was unanimously positive to enthusiastic. Six of the ten girls can imagine doing an internship or apprenticeship with us later on, or studying computer science."