Anyone who walks through the main square in Linz these days will immediately notice the white and green van with the words “missimo – your mission tomorrow”. On two floors of 100 square meters, 6.5 meters high and 16.5 meters long, exciting tasks are hidden in the interactively equipped truck, with which primary school children can playfully work on the technology of the future.
“Our goal was to make access to technology easier and more realistic – especially for students in rural areas, because they rarely have the opportunity to complete digital education programs compared to schools in urban areas. The digital world affects us all, primary schools,” says Marco Alfter, President of the Kaiserschild Foundation. , “Children in grades 3 and 4 must be prepared accordingly.” In cooperation with Ars Electronica Center Linz, plans for the educational project have been worked on since 2019, and the interactive truck is now on track.
From sensors to robots
60 minutes, time is running out. Elementary school students no longer have time to complete the six stations of the Misimo truck. “It’s somewhat reminiscent of an escape room. Except for us it’s not about getting out of the truck,” says Christoph Kremer, Head of Ars Electronica Linz.
At the start of the interactive station, each student receives a so-called micro:bit, a small console with which children from the age of eight learn to code in a playful way. They can also use it to create their own robot, which will accompany them while they are in the Misimo truck.
At each of the six stations, students are accompanied by digital instructors from the Ars Electronica Centre. How do you properly connect cables in electrical installations? How is the matrix designed? How does sensor technology work? Children also teach a game of “rock, paper, scissors” to the AI, which then becomes the referee.
One of the pilot schools in which the educational project “Missimo” has been implemented is the elementary school in Claver am Hoschwecht. “For the students and the teachers, this was a significant event in the context of digital basic education, which is part of the curriculum at the start of the new school year. Everyone was in high concentration at the stations, and at the end the students proudly presented their presentations with robots designed,” says director Christine Hasselsteiner. But not only for students, but also for faculty, there are additional training opportunities to further integrate MINT subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences, and technology) into lessons. After the “missimo” project, students will be provided with a workshop toolkit that they can use Also individually in the classroom.
Schools can apply
Already 250 primary schools in Upper Austria have applied for admission, but the application period is still ongoing. At the end of September, the truck will start its journey to the rural areas of Upper Austria, and the roads will also be expanded throughout Austria. This means that about 5,000 children can be reached in an academic year. According to the initiators of the project, the truck tours are scheduled to continue over the next five years – with an option to extend.
Upper Austria Editor
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