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THUAS student Jordy Rog wins thesis award ‘FM Bachelor of the Year 2016’

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Communication & Multimedia Design students design app for youth organisation

[16-25-11] • Lotte Hoes 

Communication & Multimedia Design students design app for youth organisation

Young people and youth workers help analyse their community (buurt in Dutch). This is why an app called Buurt&Zo was developed by four Communication & Multimedia Design (CMD) students for Buurtwerk, a youth organisation in Zoetermeer.

The students designed the app as an assignment for a course they were taking in which they had to create a usable design for a client. Julia de Jong, Irma Persoon, Nicole Sellmeijer and Myrthe Godthelp worked with Buurtwerk Zoetermeer as their client. After interviewing both the young people and the youth workers, they created a prototype of their app.

Usable for both target groups
Buurtwerk is an organisation in Zoetermeer devoted to inspiring young people to develop themselves by offering them courses to develop their talents or by talking with them about their position in the community. ‘We had to design an app that could be used by both the young people and the youth workers,’ said Julia de Jong. ‘In the existing situation, the two groups were usually in contact by WhatsApp or meeting each other in person. Our app was supposed to add something to this.’

Its use
The result was an app that both target groups could use to generate a profile. The staff members could use it for things like taking pictures, including voice memos and setting up their profile to make it easy for young people to reach them. The young people could consult the app to know what activities Buurtwerk had planned. They could also use the app’s score system to indicate the kinds of talents they have and whether they were having problems at home so that their youth worker could respond more easily.

Still a question of wait and see
Julia emphasised that the app is only a prototype at this time and not yet available for use. ‘The client now has this prototype; the students still have to develop the app further.’ Although they don’t know exactly when the app will be available, they already know that it worked well for the test group. ‘What the young people really liked was the schedule of events, and the youth workers were also very excited!’

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The Education in Primary Schools degree programme presents fun and games during the Nature & Technology Spectacle.

24 November 2016 • Youri van Vliet 

The Education in Primary Schools degree programme presents fun and games during the Nature & Technology Spectacle.

Do you want to explore nature, play with technology, make things and do exciting experiments with your children or younger brothers or sisters? Then come to the Nature & Technology Spectacle in the Atrium of The Hague University of Applied Sciences on Sunday 27 November. The Education in Primary Schools students will show you all sorts of amazing things.

Nature & Technology Spectacle’s goal is to introduce children to Nature & Technology in an easy way,’ says PABO lecturer, Gert van der Slikke. ‘It is an annual event organised by the municipality of The Hague and in which the Education in Primary Schools degree programme plays a major role.’

In the two weeks leading up to the event, explains Van der Slikke, groups of second year PABO students design and make a game for the young visitors. During the first week, the students visit various institutes, including the TU Delft, to get ideas and to learn such things as: how does a lever work; how do you make a hoist; how do you make light switches etc. And in the second week, the students put theory into practice by building something themselves.

‘Interacting with the children is wonderful. I could have stayed there all weekend,’ says a very enthusiastic Domela Matthijssen (22). Now in her third year, the student has good memories of last year’s event. ‘It is incredibly intensive. You get a budget of eighty euros – that’s not much. You need to be very creative, for example, asking companies for sponsoring. And building something within one week is tight too. I remember how chaotic it was in the corridors of the fifth floor in the Ovaal. Everyone was working hard, stuff was lying around everywhere, and the stress levels – arguments! – were quite high. At the end of the week I was exhausted and I ached all over.’

But it was definitely worth it, says Domela. ‘We made a kind of Mission Impossible structure – three large blocks, almost dark on the inside, through which the children had to find their way. The kids loved it! Some of them wanted to go again and again. Some of the children live in the Schilderswijk neighbourhood and do not have the opportunity to play outdoors every day. So to see them so happy … In the end, you do this project to make them happy.’

Michael Pauli (25) too has good memories of the Nature & Technology Spectacle, even after three years. Now in his fifth year, he was so enthusiastic when he took part that he offered to help out as a supervisor in the following year. ‘I liked the fact that during the run-up to the event you find out so much about yourself. You find out that you can actually do a lot of things, much more than you thought you could.’

Curious about the Education in Primary Schools students’ creations? And do you too want to build your own mini hut, make natural perfume or do technological games? Then come to the Nature & Technology Spectacle. Board member Jan Lintsen and Alderman Joris Wijsmuller will open the event by catching real live Pokémons. Check out the 2009 and 2015 events.