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Pupils tinker at “MacGyver Day” at Hof University of Applied Sciences

Ten students from the Schiller-Gymnasium took part in the MacGyver Day in the Makerspace at Hof University of Applied Sciences. Their goal was to construct a self-propelled watercraft with simple household materials and use it to cross a canal.

Ten students from the ninth to eleventh grades of the Schiller Gymnasium Hof took part in the MacGyver Day at the Hof University of Applied Sciences. The event is organized by René Göhring (1st from left), head of the Makerspace, and Bastian Schatz (2nd from left), teacher of computer science and economics at Schillergymnasium. Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Participants have one morning to complete the project. Only specified materials such as adhesive tape, Tetrapak, Coke, water bottles or rubbers are allowed as aids. “Google is deactivated during this time,” says René Göhring jokingly. Göhring manages the Makerspace at Hof University and supervises the teams during the competition.

“For us, it’s about the students unleashing their own creativity, drawing on their experience and skills and using the potential in the team, and not immediately looking for a solution on the Internet.”

René Göhring, head of the MakerSpace

The MacGyver Day focuses on hands-on experimentation and trial and error. The goal of the competition is to find an original solution to a specific task in a given time and with available resources. Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

Inspired by MacGyver, the famous television character who makes clever use of science and engineering, students will learn to use everyday objects in inventive ways. MacGyver Day at Hof University encourages interest in science and technology and allows students to discover and develop their skills. The results are presented at the end of the day and tested in a water channel. The team that performs best in the categories of teamwork, design, speed and distance traveled wins.

Students have one morning to work together in teams. At MacGyver Day 2023, the task to be solved was the construction of a boat with its own propulsion. Only given materials are allowed as aids. Image: Hof University of Applied Sciences;

The MacGyver project offers an entertaining learning experience, says Bastian Schatz, teacher of computer science and economics at “Schiller.” Hands-on experimentation and trial and error are the main focus, he said. “Projects like this are part of the competency-based learning that we place a lot of emphasis on at Schiller High School.” Schatz also wants to strengthen cooperation between the university and the school.

Hof University offers excellent opportunities. Our graduates don’t always have to go far afield for good studies. They also experience that on this day.”

Bastian Schatz, teacher
Jörg Raithel

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