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Building your own apps: App Summer Camp for Girls in Germany

This is a guest blog by Diane Knodel of App Camps Germany

In 2013 we came across MIT App Inventor and were fascinated immediately. It allows you the build your own apps without prior coding experience - and along the way you learn basic concepts of coding and building apps. Great! In the summer of 2013 we organized a three-day workshop for female students in Hamburg: This was the first Summer Camp. Since then we offer a 3-day App Summer Camp during summer and are amazed by the ideas and apps young students create.

Day 1: Basics of App Development

The 2017 App Summer Camp was hosted in the Google office in Hamburg. Twenty-two girls between 13 and 17 years old took part – none had ever developed an app before. Therefore the first day was a crash course about App Inventor and app development in general. After only a few hours the girls naturally used if-else-conditions, variables, lists and databases. In addition, they learned about pair programming, debugging and code reviews.

Day 2: Pitch your idea

Day 2 started with a pitch session. The girls presented their app ideas and built small teams. The ideas ranged from apps that help authors to manage their story lines to apps that recognize bird voices and of course...games. These pitch sessions are always great: You see so many great ideas and we just love the spirit of the participants.

The teams were supported by female coaches. These coaches are great role models for the students. One former App Summer Camp alumni (2014) is a CS student today - and was mentoring younger girls.



Day 3: Public Presentation

The last day of the App Summer Camp is special because the participants invite families and friends to present their app projects. As with every year, it was great to see how the girls talked about their apps and how they discussed the source code in front of the audience.

The projects this year: an app to learn bird voices, a shopping list app, a messaging app, and different games.

About App Camps

App Camps is a German non-profit that uses MIT App Inventor to teach coding and app development in schools. We provide teaching material for several App Inventor sessions. Teachers get access to short videos and learning cards. In the school term 2016/17, we were able to reach more than 25,000 students in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

English information: https://appcamps.de/mission_english

Diana Knodel