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EGEE Grids for Kids: recipe for ensuring a great day

The “Grids for Kids” initiative gives children the opportunity to learn about the Grid and to see the Grid environment in action. First held in January 2007, we have now completed several successful events. Holding your own “Grids for Kids” event has never been more rewarding.

You will need

- kids aged 9 to 12
- teachers (for discipline, safety and follow-up)
- enthusiastic presenters (one or two)
- computers connected to the Internet (enough for one between three kids)
- a room complete with chairs and a projector
- a blackboard or whiteboard
- sufficient pens and packets of post-it notes
- certificates with students’ names
- Grids for kids resources

Optional seasoning

- a fun venue to tour (computer center, experiment site) and some guides
-  goody bags (gadgets, pens, post-it notes, etc)

Preparation

1) Brief your teachers and presenters as to the day’s format and schedule
2) Ask teachers to complete and return a “Photography Permission Slip” for each child (only required if you intend to photograph or publish photographs of the children) [see Resources below]
3) Photocopy sufficient copies of the follow up quiz. Send one copy (complete with answers) to teachers in advance [see Resources below]
4) Prepare children’s certificates, complete with their names [see Resources below]
5) Bookmark the games pages on each of the computers

Schedule

1) Arrival (20 minutes): Meet up at reception, escort bus into venue. Seat children for presentations
2) “What is the Grid?” presentation (30 minutes) [see Resources below]
3) “Cyber security” presentation (15 minutes) [see Resources below]
4) Internet games (30 minutes): Explain the first game before seating the children at their computers. Aim for three children per computer and at least one adult for every two computers. Introduce one game at a time. Challenge the teams to better their times or improve their performance
5) (Optional): Tour of venue (30 minutes): If you have a large group or insufficient computers, half of the group can tour the venue while the other half play games. The halves can then swap activities after 30 minutes
6) Feedback and wrap up (30 minutes): Make sure you have sufficient pens and post-it notes. [see Resources below]

Hot tips

- Allow ten minutes for groups to move between activities and have toilet breaks
- It is nice to include a “lunchtime” where the children eat packed lunches and can run around a little
- We highly encourage the involvement of women in such events as this emphasizes to children that Grid Computing provides rewarding careers for women
- Why not broadcast your success by generating a little media attention? We have a model media release available for just such an occasion. [see Resources below]

Add your own spice

  Remember: these are just guidelines that have worked for us in the past. We encourage you to experiment and to add your own personal touch to the day. Just let us know what works…

Measure your success

Please let us know if you’re holding a Grids for Kids event. We’d love to know how you go and to hear your feedback. We’ll be measuring:

a) the number of partners replicating this event in their home institutes
b)   the number of children participating in events, and
c)   the impact that these days have on the children participating

Media coverage

Want to see what other events have looked like? Check out this coverage of Grids for Kids events so far:

- International Science Grid This Week: Issue 11, 14 February 2007
- International Science Grid This Week: Issue 56, 09 January 2008
- Science and Technology Facilities Council e-Science News: 13-14 December 2007
- Science and Technology Facilities Council media release: 8 January 2008
- http://cdsweb.cern.ch/journal/search?ln=en: Issue 10, 05 March 2007
- NGS News, Issue 1, December 2007

Resources

- Photography Permission Slip
- Quiz master copy and student copy
- What is the Grid?
- Introduction to Cyber Security
- Games (from TryScience.org) Grid Master and Team Planet
- Grids for Kids wrap-up session
- Grids for Kids media release

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Page updated:
January 28, 2008
These pages are dedicated to the EGEE Project funded by the European Commission under FP6, which ran from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2006, and its successor EGEE-II which starts on 1 April 2006 under contract number INFSO-RI-031688.