Apropos K

Experts who are still at school need your assistance

Never let it be said again that young people nowadays are good for nothing. Nonsense! Anyone who makes generalisations like this is in danger of losing the most talented of teenagers.

Strictly speaking, it is exactly the other way round. In schools everywhere, pupils are keen to be allowed to experience more, to learn more, to do more than the curriculum specifies.

Image: PlasticsEurope

It is difficult to estimate the extent to which schools today satisfy the requirements of pupils who are inquisitive and eager to learn. The members of the robotics study group at the CJD School in Königswinter are at any rate lucky: Dr Winfried Schmitz, their strong-willed teacher whose doctorate is in nuclear physics, fuels the interest of the boys and girls he teaches in natural sciences – and they are fascinated. They are demonstrating this convincingly at the special show “Plastics shape the future” organised by PlasticsEurope in Hall 6/Stand C40.

This is where the technical enthusiasts are presenting their hobby: robotics.

The members of the robotics study group at the CJD School stand out from the crowd – partly because of their tremendous interest in the subject but also because of the many successes they have achieved at the national and international levels. Their greatest successes include:

  • 2005 German champion “Dance”
  • 2006 World champion “Rescue”
  • 2007 Runner-up in the European championship (First Lego League)
  • 2008 World champion in the new soccer league (RoboCup Junior)
  • 2009 World champion “Soccer” (RoboCup Junior)
  • 2014 Bronze in the world championships “Rescue”, German champion “Rescue”, runner-up “Soccer” (RoboCup Junior)
  • 2015 German champion “Soccer”, runner-up “Rescue” (RoboCup Junior)
  • 2016 runner-up in the European championship “Rescue” in two age groups, German champion “Soccer” (RoboCup Junior)

Pretty impressive, isn’t it!

That’s the way it is: when you are really into something, it shows.

However: there are limits to how far enthusiasm can take you – and these limits are frequently physical, i.e. material. The robotics study group receives assistance in various forms – from PlasticsEurope, for example. The central association of the German plastics-processing industry has realised: a group of young people who are interested in technology is developing here and it is important to challenge and encourage them, so that they are in a position to increase their know-how and apply it for the good of humankind – even if that sounds a little dramatic. 

Back now to the limits and how to eliminate them, coupled with a request:

THE ROBOTICS STUDY GROUP AT THE CJD SCHOOL NEEDS YOUR HELP

Image: Plastics Europe

It is not money that is involved here but technological know-how. What is needed is high-tech material for optimisation of robot chassis and gripper arms (with a vacuum system) – ideally material that is carbon-based. (Dimensions of the robots: 22 cm x 22 cm x 22 cm)

The aim of the pupils at the school who are in the robotics study group is to develop and build robots that remain stable even when they run into something and to establish contact with companies, in order to initiate an exchange of ideas between the school and its pupils and industry. 

Dr Winfried Schmitz: “Up to now, robotics at schools has consisted of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science. We would like to extend this interdisciplinary approach to include material sciences. The transfer of know-how from industry to the school would be extremely helpful here.”

Contact

This is something that the plastics and rubber industry can be only too keen to promote. So: don’t hesitate – get going. Contact at K 2016 = PlasticsEurope (Hall 6 / Stand C40). E-mail to Dr Winfried Schmitz (wschmitz@cjd-koenigswinter.net), CJD Christophorus-Schule Königswinter. 

Guido Deußing