This paper describes competition-motivated teamwork and narratives to motivate teenager girls, 11-17 years old, to learn programming and basics of control. FIRST LEGO League competitions have been held at the Copenhagen University College of Engineering for several years because of successful cooperation between Ballerup Community, Copenhagen University College of Engineering and Aalborg University in Copenhagen. We focus on girls' engagement in FIRST LEGO League competitions, in order to motivate them in the future to study engineering. LEGO Mindstorm robots and RoboLab graphical programming language were used as technology tools. Using narrative concept and a concept of roles of variables it was possible to explain and provoke children to program by themselves several searching and sorting algorithms, including the algorithms of finding minimal and/or maximal values from the set of input values, as well as make them develop the algorithms for position control by adjusting positional gain. Results are encouraging and could be generalized to other programming languages than RoboLab.
Proceedings of 22nd Eaeeie Annual Conference, 2011