Maker Cards: Evaluating design cards for teaching physical computing to middle-school girls

Erika Root, Wilko Heuten, Susanne Boll
MuC'19 Proceedings of Mensch und Computer 2019
The maker movement holds strong promise for enabling childrento participate in empowering learning experiences through technology use. Many researchers have identified different educational approaches to address making for children. Furthermore, there are educational approaches on how to teach beginners to program. However, these approaches require strong supervision from experts, or the children are taught step-by-step how to solve certaintasks, that limit the children in their expressiveness with own ideas.Therefore, we designed Maker Cards as a card-based approach,exemplary with the newly up-come physical computation deviceCalliope, to give the children first instructions for the hardware andsoftware they are dealing with, that help them to make own meaningful artifacts. We evaluated Maker Cards with 54 girls (aged 10 - 14) in several workshops. Our evaluation shows that Maker Cards were valuable and helpful for the participants to getting started to implement their own ideas because they were able to find the sensors, connect the external sensors and actuators as well as usethe program examples as reference. Furthermore, it covers commonquestion, thus they could work a lot independently. However, it wasnot clear to the participants how to combine the cards, when theywant to use another actuator then in the given sensor example.
September / 2019
Smart Environments as a context of motivating learning opportunities for girls for a growing proportion of female computer scientists by involving teachers and parents
Hamburg, Germany — September 08 - 11, 2019