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Technasium electives: from baby formula to smart grids

03 March 2015

Almost 70 pupils from 5 Technasium schools visited the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for two days in February to work on assignments of their own choice as part of the school subject Research and Design (O&O; Onderzoeken en Ontwerpen).

Photo Science LinX
Photo Science LinX

‘Great satisfaction when the lights finally worked.’

‘There was no specific highlight – everything was great fun.’

‘We were given loads of options and a lot of freedom. There was plenty of material available and we were allowed to do whatever we wanted.’

These are just a few examples of reactions from pupils who attended the Technasium electives at the University of Groningen. They clearly enjoyed working on the various assignments as part of their Research and Design classes.

The electives, a two-day programme held at the University of Groningen, are part of a larger assignment lasting about 8 weeks for pupils taking Research and Design in their 4th year of pre-university education. Almost 70 pupils from 5 Technasium schools visited the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences for two days in February to work on assignments of their own choice.

Photo Science LinX
Photo Science LinX

Pupils could choose from a wide variety of subjects. They could hack into a smoke detector in order to design a robot that could be deployed in a disaster area, study the composition of baby formula compared to breast milk, design a beach animal and make it walk, design 3D models based on mathematical formulas or programme a smart energy system with Arduino to coordinate supply and demand of locally generated energy.

Pupils were encouraged to work out their own ideas with a little help from University lecturers. In some of the assignments the pupils got to work at the FabLab , an open workshop with digital manufacturing equipment such as 3D printers and a laser cutter. This is where they made their models and prototypes.

Pupils were divided into groups according to their chosen assignment, which meant that they also got to work with pupils from other schools. This way, the electives give pupils a peek not only behind the scenes of the University, but also of other Technasium schools.

The programme will be offered again next year. Interested? Send an e-mail to Renske de Jonge or go to the Science LinX website for more information about electives .

Last modified:23 December 2016 12.51 p.m.

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