Young research champions visiting Fraunhofer IZM
Eleven students from schools all across Germany have proven their technical potential in the 2019 edition of the Invent-a-Chip competition: Under this year’s motto of “Work 4.0”, they developed and constructed their very own microelectronic systems with hardware boards and sensors – following their own designs. In addition to cash prizes, they won the opportunity to spend a day at Fraunhofer IZM and experience the Institute’s advanced research and development work in action. Before coming to the Institute, the winning students were invited to the MST Congress in Berlin to accept their prizes and present their projects at their own booth. And they had amazing ideas to offer: Smart medication management, energy-efficient automatic image recognition, a smart cat flap with 24 built-in infrared light sensors, and the champion project – a chip-controlled solution for transmitting data via light waves.
After two days spent at the event, including their pitches and a special awards ceremony, the aspiring researchers came to Berlin’s Wedding district to visit the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM, where they had an opportunity to get to know the different departments and the highlight projects exhibited in the showroom. Stefan Ast, the Institute’s apprenticeship manager, told them about the career opportunities potentially waiting for them at the Institute, before taking the young visitors on a tour of the unique prototype manufacturing facilities at Start-a-Factory. The tour ended with a special highlight: a trip to the clean room, with every visitors kitted out in the obligatory lab coats and protective shoes.
The Invent-a-Chip challenge is run every year by the German Association for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies VDE and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is open to all students in grades 8 to 13 who want to put their innovative and creative minds to the test and who enjoy working with micro-electronics. Spoiler warning: It’s fun!