Experimentation World in Rottweil combines play with education
July 24, and everything was ready to go: Experimentation World on the Schule-Wirtschaft Campus in the Neckar Valley in Rottweil opened its doors and invited visitors to try experimenting with technology. It was an opportunity to introduce children, high school students, families, and anyone else who was interested in new things to discover the world of science and technology through play. Steinbeis provided backing for the project. As chairman of the supervisory board of the Schule-Wirtschaft Campus, the project was also supported by Dr. Volker Bucher, Steinbeis Entrepreneur at the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Surface and Coating Technology.
There were so many fascinating experiments to choose from at Experimentation World. For example, visitors could construct bridge arches from individual building blocks, let balls hurtle down tracks of different shapes, try out their spatial abilities, experiment with cog wheels, and much more.
Christine Schellhorn, director of Schule-Wirtschaft, a non-profit cooperative, opened Experimentation World to a smaller audience than originally planned due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, all of the sponsors who provided financial support for the projects, as well as contributions in kind and their valuable time, were very happy to come.
So how did it all begin? In late 2019, a team working on a local project in Rottweil submitted an application for funding under the LEADER initiative. LEADER is a French acronym for Liaison Entre Actions de Développement de l’Économie Rurale, or “links between actions of development in the rural economy.”
The 40 or more exhibits were made possible by a €126,900 subsidy from the EU and state funds, as well as donations from schools in Rottweil county, Steinbeis, and leading companies in the area. Despite the many challenges of COVID-19 regulations, the team succeeded in organizing the project in a matter of months.
Immediately next door to the experimentation hall in Neckar Valley stands a study center belonging to Furtwangen University (HFU), of which Volker Bucher is the Dean of Studies. The center already organizes experiments for high school students from Rottweil. The aim is to extend experiments and practical studies, not only into other rooms at Experimentation World, but also into other places in the county, such as schools and businesses, in order to establish a structured, high-quality extracurricular educational framework in the region in the long term.
The team of experts comes from a diversity of areas. Involving a variety of representatives from state job services, school principals, chambers of commerce and industry, the county authority, municipal departments, the school department, and Schule-Wirtschaft Campus itself ensures that the initiative adopts many different angles and viewpoints.
The Schule-Wirtschaft Campus network allows managers in business to exchange views with schools and institutions and develop programs that make it easier for young people to enter the world of employment after high school. Further information: www.campus-schule-wirtschaft.de .