Tag Archives: Germany

Encouraging schools to teach computer science

We recently told you about CS4HS, our program for high school and middle school computer science teachers. Today, there’s some additional news to share: the winners of our 2014 Europe, the Middle East and Africa CS4HS awards.

Twenty-six computer science education projects, from across 20 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa, were chosen. All address training of computer science teachers in secondary schools and aim to spread best practice amongst educators.

Among the winners, the University of Stuttgart will host a teacher training workshop introducing computer science topics. Technion – Israel’s leading Institute of Technology — will give teachers access to a collaborative educational site featuring successful lesson plans and classroom idea. Kenya's Maseno University will offer sessions on mobile application development and IT leaders will be invited to discuss the value of a computer science degree and potential career paths.

Visit www.cs4hs.com to find out more and to access teacher resources such as online workshops, tutorials and information on computational thinking. Ongoing, year-round help is available by joining our Google+ Community which hosts Hangouts on Air with CS industry leaders, Googlers, and top educators. Our ultimate goal is ambitious — to “train the trainer,” develop a thriving community of high school Computer Science teachers, and above all, engage pre-university students about the awe and beauty of computing.

Driving data-driven innovation at CeBIT

CeBIT is the worlds biggest IT-fair, attracting world leaders to make an annual pilgrimage to the Hannover Fair Grounds. This year, UK Prime Minister David Cameron joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel for the opening event. We came to advance the agenda of Data-Driven innovation.

In Germany, data all too often often is seen in a negative light. We believe it can be, properly used, a powerful motor for economic and social progress. We Accenture and Acatech that produced a report on Data-Driven Innovation, which was handed over during the fair to Chancellor Merkel. German corporate heavyweights including Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post, Siemens, Miele, Deutsche Telekom, SAP, and Thyssen-Krupp participated as well. The report’s conclusion was clear: Germany needs to embrace the value of data to remain competitive.

Data is not just a dry well of numbers. It can be used in exciting, dramatic and artistic ways as well. We partnered with CODE_n to run a DatenDialog in a hall surrounded by 50 start-ups under the topic of “driving the data revolution”. Artists Kram/Weisshaar visualized data from the Ngram viewer on a wall of 80mx20m, showcasing our partnership with the Bavarian State Library to digitise its priceless book collection.

Another priority for us at CeBIT was digital safety and literacy - closing the gap between the comfortable-with-Internet and the left-out less-comfortable-with-Internet. Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière visited the booth of our NGO partner Deutschland sicher im Netz and learned about our joint initiative "Digital Neighborhood." It consists of a set of ready-to-use lesson plans for volunteer IT trainers who want to teach computer and Internet basics.

Germany needs to embrace the digital revolution in order to keep its position as one of the world’s economic and exporting powerhouses. In her keynote remarks, Chancellor Merkel acknowledged tremendous “respect” for the IT industry as a source of growth and praised is the emergence of a strong German Start-Up culture. Let’s hope these words soon will extend to praising the merits of data driven innovation.

Inviting you to take a Romanesque journey

More than a millenium before the birth of the European Union, a style of architecture and art spread across the continent. It was called Romanesque and it emerged almost simultaneously in Spain, France, Italy, and Germany with sufficient unity to be considered Europe’s first common international art style.

Celebrating this achievement, our Cultural Institute just has launched launch a new, virtual exhibition, called “Origins of Romanesque: the Birth of Europe.” Curated by the Santa María la Real Foundation, it presents 26 iconic expressions of Romanesque beauty, explaining their social, political and cultural context. More than 100 guests attended the launch event in Madrid, featuring the president of the Foundation, José María Perez Peridis and the President of National Heritage as speakers.

Monestaries and abbeys led the way in spreading Romanesque constructions. In Spain, Romanesque cathedrals, churches, monasteries, cloisters and chapels mark the famed Camino de Santiago pilgrammage route.

Elsewhere in Europe, abbeys in Fulda, Lorsch, St. Gallen and Bobbio arose in the 11th century and became beacons for the new style, as did Europe’s first universities, beginning with Bologna in 1088.

Beside exploring Romanesque buildings, the new online exhibition includes drawings, photographs, films and video about Romanesque Europe.

We hope this present exhibition is only the first of a series, exploring other a series of exhibitions on life and art in Europe from Roman to modern times. Our goal is help everyone learn about and enjoy the beauties from the past.