Tinkering with No Limit

News   •   Jul 01, 2013 11:12 GMT

Again this year there was tinkering, developing and bolting. The participants in  the eleventh round of the competition "Creative Minds", in the last few months  have once again built a number of innovative prototypes, which were awarded now.

This well-received competition invites students to participate, and seeks to  put into practice innovative ideas in the fields of science, technology,  computer science or mathematics. A record-breaking 114 ideas were submitted this  year, with 25 having been admitted by the jury. The students then had until the  jury session in April to transfer their ideas into a concrete prototype,  together with supporters from reputable local companies, such as BARTEC.  Together with Iris Lange-Schmalz, who led the competition, the jury chairman  Prof. Dietmar Hilpert could now distinguish the best ideas. The overall victory  was for an iron that automatically shuts itself off. 2nd place went to the  inventor of a feather-light trombone stand, coming not even to 850 grams in  total weight, which also can be stored in the horn. The development of a kettle  that heats up water to exactly the desired degree received 3rd place.

In addition to the overall winners, awards were also given for technical  realization, innovation and creativity, conservation of resources, and  marketability. For example, four students were able to pocket the first prize  for skillful technical realization: Along with BARTEC experts the 14-year-old  Deutschorden Gymnasium school girls cleverly developed a simple music box  incorporating their lullabies for children. The trigger for this idea was a  restless night one of the students had taking care of her little cousin. The  idea was then to develop a device that parents could turn on in the evening,  such that it would play a tune as soon as the baby started crying at night. "I'm  always surprised at what ideas the students come up with," said Ralf Lanig, an  expert from BARTEC's development wing. The supporters from BARTEC gave the  students tips in meetings with them, to refine and expand the projects. However  it is also important that the students themselves organize things to a degree,  taking on their own tasks with regard to implementation. Thus the music box was  fitted with the required components in the form of a teddy bear. It was a kit,  consisting of a transmitter and receiver, which equipped the music box with the  melody and a sensor. The transmitter responds to a specific frequency and then  reports this to the receiver, which plays the melody. This was set according to  a certain time, such that it turns off by itself, and then commences to run  again if the frequency, the crying of a baby, is still present. "The students  tinker without limit and it's fun to experience this, to encourage their  creativity," said Lanig. Seeing their big grins when they have their prototype  in hand at the end is a great feeling.

For BARTEC the competition is a great way to support students in the region.  The world leader in explosion protection sees this young talent as an important  building block in light of current conditions, to ensure the future viability of  Germany as a centre for technology, and to increase the attractiveness of the  region in terms of employment opportunities.