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Inspired by Photonics

EU PHABLABS 4.0 project inspires the next generation

Light is one of those areas of technology that excites people. There are so many different sides to light, spanning a variety of fields. In fact, there are very few areas that the science of photonics does not overlap with, from energy transmission and energy control, to modern travel solutions, food safety, bio-photonics, health, IT solutions, Industry 4.0 (connected manufacturing) and aerospace. Relatively few are aware of the huge potential this field holds, despite the fact that light technology has been part of everyday life for a long time – in smartphones, the automotive sector, and even the ultra-optimized production of food and beverages. Steinbeis 2i GmbH is a partner of the consortium project PHAPLABS 4.0, and its goal is to change this.

One of the key goals of the EU project is to get young people to be inspired by science. The project partners plan to do this by involving adolescents and young adults in experiments and introducing them to new technologies. The target groups for the project are 10- to 14-year-olds, high school students (15-18 years), and other young specialists or experts (18+). The idea of PHAPLABS 4.0 is to develop and run 33 workshops and eleven so-called Challenger Projects through the consortium. For example, participants will make board games with lasers, solar cells that follow the sun, or laser cutters. The workshops are being tested in 14 pilot “FabLabs” with the aim of developing a reliable approach for the whole of Europe and teaching the skills required for the 21st century.

Pulling together the workshops and Challenger Projects will be a collaborative European project involving research and education establishments and members of the “maker culture.” Steinbeis 2i and FabLab Karlsruhe are working on the project in Karlsruhe.


Dr. Aude Pélisson-Schecker
Steinbeis 2i GmbH (Karlsruhe)