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Devoxx4Kids, a conference for budding geeks

On 26 February, CERN hosted Devoxxkids, a series of computing, robotics and electronics workshops for kids in the Globe and in the IdeaSqure


Devoxx4Kids, a conference for budding geeks

The Kids learn how to program the Thymio robot, developed at EPFL, with the help of a Devoxx4Kids volunteer (Image: Mauro Teixeira/CERN)

On Sunday 26 February, CERN hosted the latest edition of Devoxx4kids, a series of computing, robotics and electronics workshops for kids. The event was organised in the context of the VoxxedDays CERN developers conference, held at CERN the previous day.

Various workshops - “Minis” for the 4-6 year-olds, “Kids” for the 7-10 year-olds and “Teens” for the 11-15 year-olds - gave the children an insight into programming and electronics through robots and games. About 70 children came along and were able to show off to their parents how they had managed to programme a NAO robot to have a converstation with them or a Thymio robot to follow a path on a map, or how they had altered the famous Minecraft game or developed an interactive quiz  on a computer using Scratch.

Devoxx4Kids was established in Antwerp, Belgium, on the fringes of the well-established Devoxx conference for Java programmers. Since its establishment, Devoxx4kids has brought smiles to thousands of children’s faces in 22 countries. Run by a team of volunteers headed by Xavier Bourguignon, the Swiss version of the conference is now into its eighth year. “Bringing Devoxx4kids to CERN and having it in the Globe is a dream come true!” says Xavier. Organising workshops in one of the high temples of science, where the Web was born, sends out a strong signal to the children (and their parents). I hope Devoxx4kids will often come back to CERN in the future.”

Joao Silva, organiser of Voxxed Days CERN and CERN coordinator of Devoxx4kids adds: “The aim of the workshops is to stimulate curiosity and the imagination, and to show what can be done with science and technology. These workshops lead the children to discover that, through games, they can be the creators of tomorrow. Education is one of CERN’s core missions, so hosting an event like Devoxx4kids here is entirely consistent with our work. And we look forward to hosting it again!”