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What Interests High-School Students?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the speak-out dept.

Science 842

Jim Willis asks: "Our IT Division happens to be populated with some civic-minded people who are interested in making time available for local high-school students interested in science and technology. Question is, we're not sure the best way to do it. We're mulling around the idea of sponsoring a robotics competition or some sort of programming fair/competition. Unfortunately, we've been out of high-school long enough to not know what excites students about technology. Slashdot readers (esp. those of you in high-school): Where should we focus our attention and donate/volunteer our time?"

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A bit cynical... (-1, Troll)

danielrm26 (567852) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086733)

I suggest trying something in the car stereo or custom rims genre. If that doesn't fly, have a go at a pimp fashion show. In short, if your target is American high school students, topics like science are going to appeal to a very small bunch indeed. You'll find this group in the back of the crowd being made fun of by the other kids - the ones dressed like gansters and whores.

Seriously, good luck with your project. I just think it'd have more success in a country with a better focus on education. Someplace like ... anywhere in Europe, or China, or Russia, or Canada, or...

Metric System (4, Funny)

sbszine (633428) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086798)

American kids are already very interested in the metric system. Perhaps some sort of competition to see who can measure out a gram blindfolded?

Re:Metric System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086971)

A related news article [geocities.com].

<Credit>Ripped off from The Onion.</Credit>

Re:Metric System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086986)

A gram of what? Standard paper clips weigh a gram.

Do something hard, yet useful for future jobs. Have inner-city youths measure out kilos blindfolded.

Re:A bit cynical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086805)

The important thing is that you aren't bitter...

I call bullcrap (3, Interesting)

ScytheBlade1 (772156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086836)

You're forgetting.

This is /.

And you're posting saying that people WON'T be interested in something like a robotics competition? I know at my high school at least (which I'm currently attending), given the funds the entire tech lab "poplulation" would LOVE a robotics contest. Note that tech lab is roughly 40 students per period, 8 periods a day, per 2 teachers. Do the math yourself, just note that a grand MANY students would love the idea. "High technology" in the average US public school would be welcomed open-armed, imho.

Re:I call bullcrap (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086879)

Until you asked them to do work. Never seen so much laziness as at a high school science fair.

Re:A bit cynical... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086922)

Dashboard PCs are freaking l337, man. I'm working on one in Linux for which I will build a custom USB interface to my VFD which will support tuning knobs and volume buttons in addition to the 2x80 display. It also will have an SVGA display, GPS navigation, voice control, DVD/AM/FM/TV support, wireless LAN, and everything else I decide to do.
Plus if you work with an Auto Shop class you're more likely get a chance to help people who aren't white.

Re:A bit cynical... (0)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086964)

Plus if you work with an Auto Shop class you're more likely get a chance to help people who aren't white.

Fuck you, you racist piece of shit.

Not cynical at all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086960)

... just don't include Canada on your list. We're not that much better. Parts of Canada are a LITTLE better. In Quebec for example, you're graded such that under 60% is a FAIL. In Ontario though, under 50% is a fail. (Would you trust ANYONE in ANY field who only knows half of what they should know?)

Other than that, you're spot on in your opinion. I went through 5 years of high school (in Quebec, Canada) where there was no such thing as a "science fair". To me that sort of thing was fiction seen on TV.

Let's face it, the average high school does nothing to make the smart ones (geeks) feel good about being geeks.

Re:A bit cynical... (1)

WizardRahl (840191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086975)

I'm sure it would interest the average american kid if the robots had ak-47s or shotguns attached.

It won't work. (1)

Staos (700036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086750)

A: Don't even try. High school students are so concerned with their looks and trying to get head that there's not much interest in anything else. High school students are also concerned about popularity and other things that don't matter in the real world.

Don't even try.

Easy answer: (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086757)

Burn things. Especially fun things like cesium.

Re:Easy answer: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086897)

Or rocket fuel. Bonus points if it's a big rocket made from household (/garden) chemicals (sugar & potasium nitrate come to mind).

Newsprint roll cores make jim dandy rocket motors, just make sure the end caps are on good enough to not pop off, but loose enough to pop off before the rocket explodes if it's burning too fast. And do not attempt to shoulder fire it, you'll just set your shirt on fire. Oh yes, CO2 fire extinguishers should be kept on hand at all times; you cannot smother burning solid rocket fuel.

When I was in high school (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086762)

The "Proper Hyphenation Club" was extremely popular.

Answers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086775)

1) Sex
2) Girls who give head
3) TV
4) Shitty music (a la Good Charlotte)
5) Getting High
6) Counterstrike

video games (5, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086788)

They like video games, a lot. If you can include games in it in any way, they'll be all over it.

Don't ask us, ask them. (2, Insightful)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086793)


Providing your time [and more likely, some sort of facilities support and supervision] is more than enough. The best thing you could probably do is simply provide the environment for them to be creative and learn.

What interests high school students? Pr0n! (0, Redundant)

dghcasp (459766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086794)

pr0n p0rn porn pron pron p0rn pr0n

Did you really have to ask?

Wow... (2, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086806)

Somebody from the "Rhode Island Office of the Secretary of State eGovernment and Information Technology Division" posing a question to Slashdot.

This is a new high for /. me thinks, to say nothing of the value of having knowledgeable (or atleast technologically aware) geeks in Government offices.

Hope the assumption here isn't that /. is full of highschoolers though (not to bilittle them in any way whatsoever).

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086869)

Shoulda paid more attention in high school

Re:Wow... (1)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086962)

This is a new high for /. me thinks

You overestimate the significance of titles in government.

The fact that a government worker found Slashdot and was able to post a coherent message that doesn't seem to have been passed through four or five "supervisors" is much, much more interesting.

What excites high school students? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086816)

pussy and beer.


geekiness is 4 2 pick up teh chicks =p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086826)

just outta highschools (hs), and went through three diff ones, so i knew a lotta hs kids. but really, every geeky kid in hs loves to steal software/music/movies etc, so maybe something regarding hacking/cracking? maybe a hacking competition, though most hs kids don't know that much. hs kids like anything dangerous or illegal, but you prolly coulda guessed that. =p

Re:geekiness is 4 2 pick up teh chicks =p (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086894)

I... unless you just typed all of that on a cell phone or something, please go back to high school.


Yes... (3, Insightful)

Ether3k (687383) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086837)

I'm in High School, and am currently enrolled in: Multimedia III, which is a class where you do a bunch of crap with computers in. Such as: Reason, Cinema 4D, Flash MX, etc. :D I love it, as do many others. But that suggestion about Car Audio... Cha-ching. :)

Moving, colorful pixels (2, Informative)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086842)

Graphics I would guess. (I'm three years out of high-school), especially if related to video games. Of course, lining up a bunch of Alienwares and having a huge lan-party is probably not what you have in mind, but maybe showing some examples of simple 3d animations, or guest speakers who work with making video games.

robotics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086851)

The best place to start would be robotics, not many people are going to have any ambition to visit something about programming. A course or something of the nature in which you build a car controller during, would interest 3 groups of people: programmers, car nuts, and robotics kids. This would probably be the best bet as you have to have a number of people interested to do, and this brings a rounded interest, while allowing interaction and learning between each of the "groups" during learning.

Andrew Hodel
www.andrewhodel.com [andrewhodel.com]

A serious suggestion (4, Interesting)

Art Tatum (6890) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086853)

Since everybody else in this thread seems to be focusing on the silly (though, sadly, accurate) let me suggest that you perhaps get involved with a home-school group or a *worthwhile* private school. You're much more likely to get the sincerely interested kids. You could also have interested public school kids come out. Apparently, that's now allowed, though I don't have all the legal details.

This depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086858)

Are you asking because you want to foster interest in highschool students out of altruism, or are you just trying to market your company's brand name to a captive audience?

If you really want to give back to highschool age kids, offer them part time jobs after school. This way the ones who are really interested in what you have to offer will come to you. Whatever you think you can teach kids can't be taught in a classroom or a school anyway.

The results? (1)

LadyVirharper (804893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086861)

Focus on the results? Goals? Things you can DO with computer knowledge? The reason I'm somewhat knowledgeable about computers is because I wanted social power online...so I found a way to make me a mod, and then an admin, and then I got sucked into building online communities for things I was a fan of, and this meant I had to learn HTML, webdesign, ftp, servers, chmod (for the message boards), how to read a bit of perl and php, how to install pre-made mods/hacks for message boards, etc. Now I'm a happy little tyrant over a userbase of 100 regulars and semi/seasonal regulars. Oh, I learned marketing too, how to get the people to visit my site. And I'm trying to save the funds to build my own computer (one I'm on now is pre-made sony vaio). Power is always attractive. ;)

contact local schools (5, Insightful)

elf (18882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086864)

Try contacting your local schools and ask them what they're looking for. You might find that they have programs set up already and that there are rules you'll need to follow to participate.

Ignore the cynics posting here, you'll find plenty of kids interested in science and projects. Play top your strengths though, don't get involved in stuff that doesn;t relate to what you do or know.

You might consider something simple like a lecture on networking, followed by having them help set up a lan.

three things (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086873)

Sex, Drugs* and Rock n Roll

*In my case my drug was DnD. In those days, I had an 5th level Elf.

Re:three things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11087001)

dnd is not a drug. you're a loser. sorry, come again.

Something realistic (1)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086876)

When I was in High School (graduated in 96), I had very little real world experience with technology. We programmed on 286 PC's in Pascal, and I did personal research in C for my senior year. There was no realistic connection to outside technology and what was going on in the world. I found myself experimenting with using EMS/XMS memory, and interfacing with the PS2 mouse using pascal, and meanwhile out in the rest of the world, windows 95 was getting ready to be released. I was working closer to the hardware level and the industry was moving toward abstraction and API's. I had no understanding of this at the time.

This continued in college, btw. LOTS of theory (which I know is important), but not a lot of substance. Now I find myself with a CS degree and no real world experience. I answer phones for a living, at the moment.

Do something to inspire people. Something that can connect them to a project, to something useful.

Porn! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086877)

... Porn excites high school students/ university students.

Learning clients for BitTorrent, usenet, Napigator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086880)

Learning clients for BitTorrent, usenet, Napigator are highest on list.

that and how to rip DVDs to DVD-R media.

With BitTorrent, usenet, Napigator the high schoolers can get pretty much what interests them most : pr0n, xbox media, ps2 media, mp3 albums, warez, etc

everything else is far fasr less interesting to students.

though occasionally a couple students wish to learn how to construct a simple video game using exisitng sprite libraries and play soundeffects and perform collision detection.

but thats only 2 kids out of 400 usually.

all the rest want to learn how to use BitTorrent, usenet, and Napigator

Enough with the joke posts... (1)

Xshare (762241) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086884)

Enough with the joke posts, true as they are. Me and my friends do BEST robot competitions, build rocket/robot things, etc. We're very tech minded. Stuff like that, things that involve science, technology, but not in a nerdy un-fun way. You're not gonna want to make it TOO formal or class-like, we'd shun away. Things that seem like fun projects are great, and I certainly would go for em. As well, IT programs in general would certainly arouse my, as well as some other (non-aforementioned) friends who are into computing(and I don't mean AIM). As much as the main high school populace is dominated by the "gangstas" and whatnot that everyone else is posting about, those of us who do care about tech and science exist. I'll post back later as a reply to this, if you want to see it, check back in a few hours (I need to go quickly).

A Few Suggestions (1)

Eberlin (570874) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086888)

Oh boy, asking such an open-ended question to teenage geeks...what are you folks thinking?

The answer is Britney Spears in an afterschool Halo 2 Frag Fest, duh!

It has been quite some time since I've been in HS but I'm willing to suggest that a sanctioned "hackathon/pen-test" would've been one of the sweetest things the school could have. Of course it would never happen.

As for the programming fair thing, you can look to the ones done by Sun and MS (that tank AI thing for Java and the bug propagation competition in .NET).

We've had them since 1996 in Atlantic Canada... (1)

WizardRahl (840191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086889)

I live in Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia) and an annual robotics competition (http://www.dal.ca/~robots/) for high schools has been hosted by Dalhousie U. every year since 1996. Most central schools around here even have robotics clubs and I'm sure if we have stuff like this in the sticks of NS, that places like Ontario has tons of it.

well (1)

m0ok (564372) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086893)

When I was that age (and into computers, kinda) I was interested in hacking, file sharing, games and server room stuff. so, if its not too much of a risk, show them around your server room, show them your networking shit, show them some terminals and shells, teach them about the kind of hardware you need to play wicked-cool games. that kinda stuff. :D I know i'd be interested, if i was a teenager.

I am a high school student (5, Informative)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086895)

I am a high school student, so I beliewe I am qualified to answer you.

First, be forwarned. I don't mean to sond cynical, but there is not a whole lot that has to do with science and technology that would excite most students. Even if it does, a lot of people are too scared of being called a "nerd" or a "geek" and thereby having their social status for the rest of the four years ruined to show that excitement.

There are, however, some. I don't think that a robotics competition is a good idea, however. I don't know about most schools, but at mine there are not a lot of people interested in robotics. Besides, it would take a lot of work, and a lot of the most brilliant people are inherently lazy.

I think the programming fair was a great idea, however. Every time I write a program to do the simplest thing on my TI-84+ graphing calculator (such as convert celsius to fahrenheit for instance) people gape at me with awe and amazement and ask, how did you DO that? This includes jocks, socialites, and various other groups of people who would normally not be caught dead showing an interest in the "nerdy" fields of computers or technology.

If you put on a programming fair, you are not going to be able to teach anyone computer programming in a day, but you will spark their interest. Give away a few CDs with C tutorials on them or something, and maybe, just maybe, a few kids will try them out.

Also, expect the bit-head population to turn out in force at your fair. You can even put some of them to good use, having them help the newbies who have no idea what's going on.

In conclusion, programming fair=good, robotics competition=bad.

What Interests High-School Students? (1)

Tesko (719892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086898)

Short Answer: Drugs, Sex, and Rock n Roll. Nothing's changed since the 60's I tell ya.

Haptic (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086903)

Research into haptic input and output devices.....you know....for um......pr0...err....grams....pr0grams, yeah, thats it.

high-school? (0)

mrmez (585359) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086906)

I don't think anyone needs a special "high-"school. they can learn to get high at an opld-fashioned junior high or high school.

Something to make 'em famous (1)

applecore (805364) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086908)

Make sure it's a good cause. Put them in the newspaper. Tell them it'll be on MTV.

Extreme Makeover:Home Edition [go.com] is growing in popularity. Find good people & do something great for them. Do you wonder why so many companies & celebrities want to be associated with it? A lot of those blue-shirted workers who demolish the home in the first few days donate their time. Even the craftsmen & women do their work for free.

Build it and they will come.

Games (1)

illumina+us (615188) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086915)

Most high school students are interested in games and other forms of competition. Mostly though, it has to be fun and entertaining otherwise they probably won't do it.

Not robotics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086919)

These days high school robotics programs have been dumbed down so the stupid kids could get in and participate. I am the biggest robot geek you will ever find, but me and 2 other people got out because we were required to let these people in. The robotics team is now flailing, they deserve it. Me and my two friends now buy robotic kits and are currently making a huge system to rock the chemical trays in the photography darkroom.

I agree about the idea for a car modding thing, even geeks like cars. Knowing how to fix or at least know the insides of a car is one of the most important things you can know, so I think you should go with that route.

computers (1)

uberrhino (809897) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086921)

Im in Highschool. Try doing something like a computer awareness and robotics fair thing. It could teach kids how to use a computer and how they work.

Recources. (1)

DanTekGeek (740780) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086923)

the best way to get high schoolers interested is to provide opportunities. open up the science rooms after shchool, allow kids to use the video lab on their own time. have an a+ class. start some computer or science clubs. there is the interest. there allways is, but usually kids like me dont have the recources to get something started

anouncements (1)

.aris_ny (780350) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086929)

i dont know what type of IT you or your buisness does. BUt i dont know at my high school a lot of the kids are intrested in audio video feild. We started doing the announcments throught the tv system last year. It works nicely sometimes, but other times the signal is really bad, and the green screen needs a little tech help. Just a thought tho...

FIRST Robotics (4, Insightful)

IncomeThax (826888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086935)

Being a highschool student involved with science\tech I would suggest becoming a mentor for a FIRST Robotics team in your area. It's a great way to help the kids, and the community in general. the website:http://www.usfirst.org/ [usfirst.org]

Re:FIRST Robotics (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11087009)

Very recommended, I'm trying to get my school envolved with this, looks friggen absolutely amazing on your transcript.

6000 for the tub of parts, 10,000 dollars to go national. Time to start rasing money, when the competition is every January and training is 1 year.

The source for the robot moving is written in lovely C++.

Serious suggestion (3, Insightful)

MesiahTaz (122415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086939)

I'm 21, so I haven't been out of high school too terribly long. The world wide web seems to appeal to just about everyone so I would suggest a web development contest of some sort -- preferrably data-driven sites. None of this MS FrontPage crap.

I wish my school had held some sort of PHP competition. Will it attract everyone? Certainly not, but I doubt you would want to. A great many high school students ARE just focused on scoring, rims and car stereos.

I'd normally respond to this... (1)

kjeldor (146944) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086940)

but the previous 3 posts summed it up just fine.

Too Easy (Score:2)
by cephyn (461066) on Tuesday December 14, @17:47 (#11086765)

sex (Score:1)
by Lanboy (261506) on Tuesday December 14, @17:47 (#11086769)
As I recall... I was a walking hormone.

Pr0n (Score:1)
by DecimalThree (524862) on Tuesday December 14, @17:47 (#11086773)
HighSchool students love Pr0n.

Hacking 101 (5, Insightful)

gbickford (652870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086948)

At least when I went to high school hacking was perceived as cool somehow. Even kids that know nothing about computers may be attracted to learning how people hack into systems without authorization. Tell them about tiger teams. Talk about breaking crypto. Explain how hacking isn't just limited to breaking into other peoples computers. I was the kinda kid that was always in saturday school and detention. I would never have been attracted to computers unless I knew that I could do "fun" stuff with them.

For added effect wear a mohawk.

Little real computer education in high school (1)

happyemoticon (543015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086950)

I graduated about three years ago. My friends, who were a pretty nerdy bunch, got very excited about chemistry and robotics tinkering, but this may have just been a product of our excellent, very charismatic chemistry teacher/tinker. Robotics stuff will always draw big crowds, especially since it requires a synthesis skills. However, it also requires a lot of capital.

If you're looking for something a little more computer oriented, I found that the schools in my area, the bleeding heart of silicon valley, very impoverished in terms of even beginning computer science. I knew a bunch of people who would have been interested in a club or something which taught programming principles under the auspices of building games.

I coulda used... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086963)

Acne removing nanite design competition

Give them a *real* job to do. (1)

shaneh0 (624603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086965)

A lot of teanagers are very proficient at what they do, and I think they often resent not having enough responsibility to actually prove their mettle.

If your angle is computer programming, then devise a couple of applications that you could actually use. Allow teens to submit their own teams, pick which app to compete on, and the teams with the best applications get their apps "bought" by the company, and prize-money is handed out.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to have multiple difficulty "classes."

A way to get students involved.... (1)

comrade009 (797517) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086968)

All of the computers in our engineering lab (yes, our high school has an engineering department, and it's sweet) were built by students. The teacher hosted a two hour long after school project where about 20 stations were laid out with all the computer parts. He then showed us how everything went together. It was great for people of all levels, from computer gearheads to novices. The turnout was great, if I recall. And in the two hours I probably learned more practical stuff then I learned in 4 years of High School. I'll be building my desktop for college soon.

Money for somthing (1)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086969)

I imagine those students flipping burgers for minimum wage would be interesed in somthing more worthwhile if given the chance.
  • Pay them to do something. Scan in all the old public documents at the courthouse.
  • Interview retired people and publish the results on a website to teach life lessons and life stories.
  • Have them put together a program to teach Stepmania [stepmania.com] to the elderly.

Hacking... (1)

KidHash (766864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086974)

Well, if they're geeks like me then that's what they'll be interested in. Clearly you can't teach 'box r00ting', but I'm sure you could involve it in something to do with network security. I'm running an after-school activity at my school (I'm 17, in my final year of college before university) teaching younger children about network security. Tomorrow, after a term of classes, they'll be having a hack-off - two teams, two unsecured linux boxes, we'll see who gets in first

Social Activity (1)

Rheagar (556811) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086978)

Get a few good students to take part. Their friends will probably check it out too. The hard part is getting the first few students to look into it, but I have a solution for that too:

Make them do it.

OK, so it sounds nefarious and oppressive. Oh well, they are students and are used to it. Their parents make them bring the car home by 10, go to sleep by 12, wake up at 7, and eat their peas. At this stage in their life there aren't many people who are self motivated to do anything other than play video games, or whatever the latest popular thing is. But they are used to being told what to do, and sometimes they like what they are exposed to and tell their friends.

To sum up:
Make the activity fun.
Ask a few good students to attend and get things going.
Ask them to bring a friend next time. Get them to name a friend who they think would enjoy it before they leave the room -- this makes them more likely to actually ask.

If it really is good, they will come back.

Rap music (1)

Bite-lover (826567) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086979)

For starters, you need some girls with a bit of skin showing, anything involving nice cars and big stero systems to get their attention.
The current favorite genres in my area are Rap/Punk with more leaning towards rap, so lean more towards playing that at anything you do. To be fair anything should have a bit of rock to it too. I.E. Jay-Z and Linkin Park remakes like the Numb/Encore song they did.
Good technology shows, the technology behind spinners possibly, the teachnology behind sound systems would be very nice, and if you can sponsor some nice cars I'd go with modern day car technology and computer control (Such as controlling NOS)
Hope this helps :)

Re:Rap music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11087015)

Kill me now.

interesting things (1)

lesclaypool (840357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086980)

Well Im a 17 year old High School student who is responsible for the schools web server. Every geek here is into gaming. I wish they had a game design course or something like that.

Knowledge vs. Interest.... (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086983)

Well, I might not be eligible to answer, since I got out of high school a few years back. However, when I was in high school, not too many people knew about technical stuff...

There were a few people who knew how to program (basic stuffs) in C++ (er, but it was for AP Computer Science...), and I haven't heard of anyone knowing anything about robotic or electronics (especially since no one builds stereos at home anymore, as my electronics lab professor complains). Chances are, there probably aren't that many people in a given high school (assuming, of course, a non-magnet, non-private, non-anything-overly-special high school) who are even able to participate with what they know.

That said, I don't know, I probably would have been interested in building simple robots, like a moth car. I don't think the theory behind the electronics of those stuffs are too difficult to teach (I mean, unless you want to go down to fundamental level, it's just basic things about feedback and how the components work). Or, digital circuits (in my basic semiconductor lab in college) were cool, and I think those things require even less theory to be learned than some analog electronic devices.

If anything, a workshop is probably something that more people can participate in and might even be interested (I don't think too many people have breadboards, oscilloscopes, DMM's, and things like those that you need when you are doing any electronics).

But I wouldn't get my hopes up... Especially if the high schools you are targetting is anything like my school (mine was academically mediocre, which is another way to say "average"), then you will probably have at most 10-20 people (that's just about (an overestimate, probably) how many students from my high school went to a field of science in a reputable school in the year I graduated, I think) out of a campus of 1800 who will be interested in those things.

From a high school student (1)

Adrohak (825636) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086984)

I'm a high school student, a sophomore; I would not even think twice about taking part is a programming competition or the like. However, I don't think that the 'average' high school student would be interested in that. Someone mentioned trying out car-related products. If you were to provide a somewhat-inexpensive in-dash computer and allowed students to pit their programs against one another (for example, the student whose program gets the best response from fellow students [and is useful; not just a screen-saver or something similar]), I think you could not only get students' attention, but perhaps get more students interested in computers in general.

ant-weight battlebots.. (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11087003)

My suggestion would be ant-weights..
ant-weight battlebots are cheap and fun..
there is a ton of practical application on industrial design (i.e. autocad), electronics and soldering, programming can be done as well. And they are remote controlled and are a hell of a lot of fun. Not too mention it is not something they will be made fun of as battlebots are on television all the time :)
Here is a few links

Not a lot of contructive responses so far... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11087005)

What is interesting to a HS student?

Well, as has been noted above this *is* an appeal to a niche group, and so it's going to be anything that sparks the attention of all of us as nerds. Anything related to robots, electronics, encryption, etc.

My opinion would be to do a brief overview of several of these topics. Most HS students are fishing for future careers, and the ones who are interested enough to take time out of their lives outside of school will be ones most likely to benefit from this exercise in community service. So give an introduction to whatever it is you at your place of employment have expertise in, and don't worry about appealing to a multitude because you won't.

If you teach it, show it, and it has electrons. They will come.

What? A serious answer? (1)

compjinx (733142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11087007)

They will be interested in something that has a useful/cool product. Things that don't result in anything are boring.

For example: Building projectile weaponry is cool, thus a teen would be interested in it.

Another example: Learning about circuitry by making a useful device has a practical/useful product, thus a teen would be interested in it.

Also, avoid things that won't be immediately applicable to them. Subjects that have no purpose in their lives are boring. If you can somehow use the subject matter to create useful/practical things (see above), then they will be interested.

This is the WIlly on Wheels (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11087010)

Help in the jihad against sollog the baby raper! Help crapflood this article!

Sollog or SOLLOG is a pseudonym of John Patrick Ennis (born July 14, 1960), a numerologist, mystic and psychic, as well as a self-published author, artist, musician, poet, and filmmaker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His full religious name is Sollog Immanuel Adonai-Adoni. "Sollog" is widely assumed to stand for "son of light, light of God", but Sollog supporters deny this, pointing to his own explanation of the name being comprised of "Sol" and "Log" ([1] (http://www.sollog.com/sollog/)).
Contents [showhide]
1 Activities
2 Predictions
3 Playing the odds
4 Disputed following
5 The Xinoehpoel connection
6 Personal attacks
7 Accusations of kookery
8 External links


Sollog is the founder of TOH (Temple Of 'Hayah), and the belief of TOH is that "all life is part of God and therefore GOD". He operates a business known as Adoni Publishing, which sells his writing in ebook form, as well as CDs of music composed by him, and video material about him. His ebooks explore a number of familiar paranormal themes, including the Bible codes, UFOs, Nostradamus, creationism, religion and numerology. Adoni Publishing also runs websites that sell pornography, pictures of dead bodies and execution videos [2] (http://www.theeunderground.com/). Since the mid 1990s, Sollog has been very prolific, publishing his beliefs and predictions on the web and Usenet.


He has claimed to have predicted a large number of major events during that time, including the crash of TWA flight 800, the Oklahoma bombing, the death of Princess Diana, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, as well as a wide range of natural disasters in the US.

Following a major disaster, Sollog's supporters frequently claim to have found something in Sollog's writings predicting it, even if specifics such as the date or exact type of disaster do not seem to match the event at all. Sollog's critics usually claim that his predictions are either so general or so obscure that they cannot be truly said to predict the events that they purport to. Major newsmedia have generally paid little attention and dismissed Sollog's predictions, though several individual reporters have portrayed him as a notable crank.

Playing the odds

In addition to occasional specific predictions, Sollog uses numerology to claim hits, using numbers such as 113, 116, 911, 103, 169 etc. ([3] (http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=AnMy8.199082 %24YJ3.4167142%40news.webusenet.com&output=gplain) ) to match events. For example, he might claim a hit for any disaster for which 113 (or 131, or 311, or 13, etc.) can be found in the date or statistics, even if finding the number requires some mathematical manipulation. Sollog has claimed hits for events that were off by 1 day or digit, relying on preliminary casuality figures or invoking the international dateline, or the EST time as a reason for inclusion.

He also draws lines joining various cities. His "Line of Death" sometimes passes through Seattle and Miami ([4] (http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=371D33FA.290 1%40hotmail.com&oe=UTF8&output=gplain)) and other times connects Springfield, Oregon, Aspen, Oklahoma City & Miami ([5] (http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=356452A5.552 E%40theasi.net&oe=UTF8&output=gplain)). The path of this line is restated by Sollog supporters to accommodate whichever event they claim it was meant to have predicted. Notably, the "line" is now described by points that actually form a zig zag.

He has also covered the East coast of America with lines, joining various cities and claims hits for any hurricane which passes over them [6] (http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=ece14ed9.021 0051206.51faf747%40posting.google.com&output=gplai n). He also guarantees in this same prediction that 17 cities will be destroyed by named hurricanes. Over half of these named hurricanes have already passed without destroying any cities and the names will not be reused until 2010 at the earliest.

Critics claim that Sollog is playing prediction roulette covering enough dates and cities to hit by chance alone.

Disputed following

Sollog's fans are noted for having argued very strenuously with his detractors on Usenet and forums, but that he has any supporters at all is disputed. Multiple observers have raised allegations of sock puppet accounts being used to promote Sollog's theories, based on perceived similarities in on-line behaviour, writing style, and a general disbelief that any notable group of separate individuals would be moved to promote Sollog or his views.

Many of these observers implicitly claim that Sollog-supporting Internet accounts are all used by Sollog himself, and nobody else, by directly addressing the poster as Sollog. The person or persons using these accounts always claim to be separate individuals, and specifically deny being Sollog. ([7] (http://www.psychologytalk.org/SOLLOG_CONTROLING_H URRICANE_JUAN_TO_HIT__USA-2632449-4706-a.html), [8] (http://groups.google.nl/groups?selm=RH%2567.131%2 45z5.11327%40reggie.win.bright.net&rnum=6), [9] (http://www.scienceone.org/MATHEMATICAL_PROOF_OF_G OD__Sollogs_Creator_Formula-6353143-4253-a.html)).

The Xinoehpoel connection

A notable Sollog follower occasionally accused of being Sollog himself, but generally believed not to be, is a Usenet poster who called himself "Leo Phoenix" or "Xinoehpoel". He gained brief notoriety for a posting with subject "911" to alt.prophecies.nostradamus, in which he claimed "something" would happen "tomorrow" (the posting was made on August 31, 2001). When the September 11 terrorist attacks finally did happen, this apparent prediction received some attention, and was even covered by The New York Times [10] (http://www.sptimes.com/News/091501/Worldandnation /FBI_looks_for_terror_.shtml).

Sollog was not mentioned in the thread itself, but in previous postings Xinoehpoel had established himself as a follower of Sollog, even proclaiming that Sollog was God. Though some were convinced by this claim alone that Xinoehpoel was an alias of Sollog, others have disputed the evidence and concluded that he was independent [11] (http://xinoehpoel.united.net.kg/main.htm).

Personal attacks

Sollog and his fans have singled out a few individuals for personal attacks, including Howard Altman, an investigative reporter and former editor-in-chief of the Philadelphia City Paper, Robert Carroll, founder of the website The Skeptic's Dictionary, Los Angeles Times reporter Kenneth Reich, Washington Post reporter Victoria Shannon, and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, claiming each of them responsible for what they consider slanderous remarks on Sollog's personality and achievements (in the case of Wales, indirectly responsible through the contents of this article). Sollog or his supporters later made offensive telephone calls to Wales and created a website attacking both Wales and Wikipedia. Both Altman and Reich have contacted the FBI as a result of their harassment.

Accusations of kookery

Subscribers to the Usenet newsgroup alt.usenet.kooks named Sollog "Kook of the Month" for June 1998 and gave him the Victor von Frankenstein "Weird Science" Award for January 2001. He also received the Earl Gordon Curley Memorial Nebuchadnezzar Award. A full list of recipients and description of the awards may be found online [12] (http://www.lart.com/auk/whiners.html).

Show them around (1)

abrotman (323016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11087011)

Take them to work with you for a day .. I think i almost creamed my pants the first time i walked into a data center. Show them what it's like to be a developer or admin or network guru. Explain there is more to computers than games and IM. It would decently cool if it was the day of a meeting .. Let the kid sit in .. Yes .. I know meetings suck .. But most of us have to do them in the real world. And sometimes they are interesting. Show them around, what you do, what makes your job interesting/mundane.

Don't underestimate us (1)

schenkin (651361) | more than 9 years ago | (#11087017)

I actually think that High School students (myself included) are interested in much more than drugs, sex, and cars. I myself am both a member of the school robotics team and an employee of a local web development firm (http://www.haleypro.com).

My robotics team (team 486, www.team486.com) is always looking for people to help with everything from programming to fundraising. Of course, anything that can get us money is needed. My team itself has an anual budget of at least $40,000. Of course, we struggle to keep it at that and that is low for most teams.

As for other interests, I find that many students want to learn networking, and that the school network here and at many public schools are crap. I think a wonderful way to interact with students is to help them clean up the school network, though I understand that security would be a concern.

Haley Productions (my workplace) allowed me to come on as an intern during my sophmore year. I am now an employee, but we have started to take more students as interns. This could be a good way to involve high school students. It helps both the kid and the company.
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