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16th September 2014

Buzz wires and pop-pop boats at Saarbrücken’s “Wissenswerkstatt” science knowledge workshop

“The Wissenswerkstatt workshop has set itself the task of familiarising children and teenagers with science and technology in an enjoyable way. Our involvement in this organisation helps ensure at an early stage that we have a steady stream of up-and-coming specialists in these occupational areas,” explains Jörg Sick, HR Director Business Area Germany, who also acts as treasurer of the charity’s board.

The organisation is sponsored by Hager Electro GmbH & Co. KG as the founding member and by other large companies in the region such as ZF, Schaeffler, Festo, Voit, Saint Gobain and the industry association Verband der Metall- und Elektro-Industrie. “As one of the major companies in the region, we regard it as our social responsibility to support projects like this and get actively involved in showing young people career perspectives,” emphasises Oswald Bubel, Managing Director of Hager Electro GmbH & Co. KG, who also represented the company when the organisation was founded.

Learning programmes at Eurobahnhof railway station
The Wissenswerkstatt workshop was officially opened on 4th July 2014 in the historic bus depot at Saarbrücken’s Eurobahnhof. Over an area of more than 450 square metres, aspiring scientists have not only a mechanical workshop for metal and wood work at their disposal, but also laboratories for physics experiments and electrical and control technology as well as a room for robotics.

In the extra-curricular educational facility, boys and girls aged from eight to eighteen can experience technical phenomena and understand everyday technology by carrying out their own tests and experiments – for example building pop-pop boats or by putting their skills to the test with the buzz wire game, which is based on a simple electric circuit. While doing all this, they also learn practical skills such as soldering. That is because in the Wissenswerkstatt, doing things yourself is actively encouraged and all participants are allowed to take their creations home with them at the end of the course. “We want to dispel the fear that young people, girls in particular, feel when confronted with technology and science. They should experience how much fun tinkering, experimenting and researching can be,” explains Jörg Sick. The idea: if children and teenagers develop an interest in mathematics, natural sciences, technology (MINT) and the environment at an early stage and recognise their talent, they can be shown long-term occupational and personal prospects in the MINT sector. This is because Hager Group, like many other companies, is dependent on technical specialists and engineers – especially against the backdrop of demographic change. “Sparking curiosity today might well gain us the engineers of tomorrow: this is precisely why we are involved in the Wissenswerkstatt,” explains Jörg Sick.

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