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"Coding School" combines economics with technology

Multiple white zeros and ones in 3D. © ymgerman​/​

Using digital technologies and economic concepts to develop solutions for ecological challenges - that was the goal of the first "Coding School" of TU Dortmund University at the Mallinckrodt-Gymnasium in Dortmund. On Friday, February 14, 32 secondary school students had the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and skills in dealing with data. Prizes were awarded to the most convincing ideas for tackling environmental problems. The students were supported by staff from the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Economic Education of the Faculty of Economics and the Center for Entrepreneurship & Transfer (CET) of TU Dortmund University.
What are the technical possibilities for measuring air quality? How can freely available data be used to analyze environmental problems and develop ideas for solutions? To approach these questions, the students first made their own sensors from kits and programmed them so they could read and use data with them. Then they used this as a basis to develop various possible applications: For example, corridors with low levels of air pollution could be pointed out for people with respiratory diseases, or particularly well-lit routes for people traveling alone to increase their sense of safety. Another idea would be to send information to smart vehicles near accident scenes so that drivers can form an emergency lane in good time.
An expert jury, consisting of employees from the Entrepreneurship and Economic Education Chair and the CET, then awarded prizes to the most innovative and convincing ideas. "With the 'Coding School', we want to get school students excited about topics at the interface between economic thinking and data science and awaken their spirit of development and entrepreneurship," explains Prof. Andreas Liening from the Faculty of Economics.
The "Coding School" is an event within the framework of the Junior Entrepreneurship School at TU Dortmund University. With this model project, the Entrepreneurship and Economic Education Chair and the CET support schools in integrating technical and economic topics into the classroom. For example, school companies are founded in collaboration with the CET, and business games are conducted. 
The "Coding School" took place with the support of the tu>startup Foundation and the Dortmund Foundation. There are plans to extend the format to other cooperating schools.

Contact for queries:
Jan-Martin Geiger
Faculty of Economics
Phone: 0231 - 755 8154