Interactive education concept for the engineers of tomorrow
Getting young people interested in technology is one of the main aims of our Bionic Learning Network. The Bionics4Education project brings the world of bionics together with the education sector. The interactive education concept allows a variety of topics relating to bionics to be experienced in the classroom. It consists of a digital learning environment and a practical training kit, which the pupils can use to make bionic prototypes in a creative manner.
Bionics Kit: a training kit for practical learning
The Bionics Kit, which in 2018 will be the first-ever bionics training kit to come onto the market in Germany and the USA, is aimed at pupils between 14 and 18 years old. The Bionics Kit gives young people the opportunity to solve problems using bionic methods in a creative and uncomplicated way – by building a bionic fish, a chameleon gripper or an elephant’s trunk with adaptive gripper with Fin Ray Effect®, for example.
As the basic equipment, the case contains all the components necessary to get started. This includes conventional small servo motors, electronics components and plastic elements such as Fin Ray® structures. The pupils’ task is to then sensibly combine these inventively with materials chosen by themselves. Cable ties, sandbags, cardboard, foam rubber and many other things are suitable for this, enabling the pupils to design their own reusable models.
Digital learning environment with accompanying information
In addition to the hardware, a free-of-charge learning environment can be found at www.bionics4education.com. It supports the pupils by providing further content all about bionics, as well as helpful tips on practical implementation in lessons or at home. There are also training videos, software codes and CAD data for printing out components on a 3D printer, all provided for free. The platform is available in German and English.
Open source: valuable knowledge for pupils and teachers
The content provided free of charge will help those learning with assembly and programming. The holistic education approach enables children and young people to learn, in a playful way, how to build the animal robots inspired by nature themselves and to then control them remotely via interfaces such as a PC, tablet or smartphone.
The platform also gives biological, methodical background material to those teaching. In this way, teachers can use the platform to create a project-based learning experience for their pupils, where the focus is on creativity, innovation and problem-solving. All the teaching aids were designed with this in mind by Festo Didactic with the support of our education experts.
Role models from the Bionic Learning Network
The idea of the training kit emerged from the countless preliminary models during the development phases of various bionics projects – like the FlexShapeGripper and the Bionic Handling Assistant. The lessons from our engineers should not only be preserved in this respect, but didactically prepared and made available to young people.
Enjoying sciences and technology
With the help of the bionics education kit, theory is turned into simple practice – encouraging the joy of experimentation. The interdisciplinary learning content can be integrated into everyday schooling, project days or one-off events in the subjects of biology, physics, technology and IT.
As bionics acts as a link between biology and engineering, the content is a perfect complement to any integrative STEM education programme. School classes, work groups or inquisitive individual researchers can thus either start experimenting with bionics using the equipment in the case or organise and set up everything themselves from A to Z.