— A week somewhere completely different —
Ten highly talented students between the age of 11 and 16 participated in the KTM Physical Computing Camp. In cooperation with Talente OÖ the camp took place in our office in Wels. The Association for the Sponsorship of the intellectually gifted has an extensive range of further education programmes for pupils in the province.
The week started with the basics of electronics by building simple circuits with LEDs, resistors, push buttons and some sensors on a so-called breadboard. For a better understanding, breadboards are a way of constructing electronics without having to use a soldering iron. Components are pushed into the sockets on the breadboard and then extra ‘jumper’ wires are used to make connections.
Things really took off in combination with the arduino microcontroller, whose pins were used as inputs and outputs by means of self-created programmes. Ultrasonic radars, distance meters, smart home applications or anti-theft devices were created. At the end of the week, the students proudly presented and explained their complex results to their parents.
How does this content fit with PIERER Innovation? – ‘The job market in this area is a big challenge for us. We want to get young talents interested in programming at an early age and introduce them to manual work. During this week, the students were able to experience for themselves that these activities are fun on the one hand and on the other hand bring exciting results that everyone needs in today’s everyday life’, says Walter Sieberer, Managing Director at PIERER Innovation. ‘For us, the camp was a really valuable cooperation with Talente OÖ.’
In the same building, a development group works on electronic developments for single-track vehicles, including those of the group’s own brands such as KTM, GASGAS or Husqvarna Motorcycles. Microcontroller such as arduino are used for this. The sensors used there have industry standards and are more complex, but the way the students worked is basically how professionals work. The students also had the opportunity to test some of the innovations in practice by taking short rides on various e-bike models.
It was an entertaining week in which both algorithmic thinking, manual dexterity and a lot of creativity were used to come up with ideas and solutions for the projects.
ABOUT TALENTE OÖ
The Upper Austrian Competence Centre for Talents currently looks after around 3500 pupils in Upper Austria. Starting with a talent assessment in the third grade, the diagnosed children are accompanied on their further educational path. This is done primarily through an extensive range of courses, from one-day courses in the individual educational regions, to courses lasting several days at the Schloss Traunsee Academy, to one-week courses at the summer academies. Another important part of our work is counselling for parents, teachers and kindergarten teachers.