A robot gave the start to the Children’s Opening of the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Mega Dojo Sofia 1.0 #kids4digiEU took place today, 6 January, at the National Palace of Culture. Hundreds of students from all over the country gathered for the event. Robots and electronic machines made by children filled the lobbies of the NPC and provided the visitors with information and options what games to choose.
”The children are our capital, our future, our pride and through them we give the most genuine start to the Bulgarian Presidency. I hope that in 14 years from now, some of these children will take all the decisions that are important for us,” the Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Lilyana Pavlova said. “The young people, the children and the skills of the 21st century are our key priority,” she stressed. It is for the first time that children open the rotational Presidency of the Council of the EU. The event in this country was organized under the auspices of the Ministry for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU 2018 and was made possible thanks to CoderDojo Bulgaria and the Digital National Alliance. The Bulgarian EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel arrived especially for the event. The children were greeted by Deputy Minister of Education Denitsa Sacheva and Bulgaria’s digital champion Mrs. Gergana Passy chaired the event.
“You demonstrate that you are not just users, you are creators of content. You show us the important thing: that what no one can replace is you. As of today, you will start writing the success story of the Bulgarian Presidency because it will be the success story of Bulgaria,” Mariya Gabriel said in her address.
„Creating and being useful is the greatest happiness. Have fun, learn, respect the ideas of the others, work in teams and solve problems in a creative way,” Deputy Minister Denitsa Sacheva wished the students.
Volunteers, mentors, organizers and partners organized 18 workshops for the children. They were taught to observe cyber hygiene and to connect elements in such a way that the robots they make start working. For several hours, the students developed codes and computer games, composed music on the keyboard and learned facts about Europe and the Member States with the help of their computers.
The young software developers tested the reliability of their passwords. The Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency also tested how good the password for her computer was. It turned out that it could be hacked within 4 months, and the organisers of the “I won’t get hacked” workshop from the State E-Government Agency explained to her that her password was relatively weak because the strong passwords can take hundreds of years to be hacked.
Six children were selected to be Digital Skills Ambassadors during the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and in the coming six months they will visit the European institutions.
The children’s workshop in software development ended with some prizes – a tablet and 2 nanocomputers. All the participants got commemorative packs with books and presents.