A group of Dutch students were given a crash course in programming at this year's Girlsday event in Eindhoven, Netherlands - with a little help from BBC micro:bit and the Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP.
On Thursday 13 April 2017, more than 10,000 girls aged between 10 and 15 were offered an introduction to various science and technology disciplines as part of 'Girlsday', an annual initiative by Dutch organisation VHTO aiming to encourage more young women to participate in STEM subjects. Local and international technical companies including NXP opened their doors to the students, offering a wide range of workshops and special events.
Together with their parents, fifteen students from Heerbeeck College in Best visited NXP's Next Experience Lab in Eindhoven for a guided lab tour and introductory programming workshop featuring the BBC micro:bit. Assignments included creating a 'smiley' that would appear on the micro:bit's LED display and programming the device to act as an electronic dice. With the support of the NXP team, the girls were able to master these challenges well in time for a special lunch, in which female employees at NXP shared their career stories and advice with the girls.
NXP has played a leading role in using the BBC micro:bit to introduce programming to Dutch schools, in collaboration with Brainport Eindhoven and Stichting DevLab Academy, a foundation for the promotion of technology in education. Last month, NXP's EVP and Netherlands Country Manager Guido Dierick presented 100 micro:bit devices to the Huygens Lyceum High School in Eindhoven, with an expansion to other schools in the Brainport region planned for September 2017.