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Schülerberichte - 2013
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amandanadin-unitSaturday, December 28th, 2013

The workshop began at 10:00 in the morning with Nadin Roessler, a former Moonbuggy driver, presenting the team members with her reactions of last year’s competition. She spoke to the new team about what it takes to have the power to compete in Huntsville/Alabama and have high marks, what she learned through the process and inspired the workshop students to try as hard as they can and to believe that they can.

After Nadin’s presentation, we were visited by Nikita Yaskevitch and his collegue, IBM-engineers from Moscow. Nikita Yaskevitch presented the Youth Space Center of the Moscow Baumann University (MGTU) and its mission, goals and accomplishments. We were very lucky to have their presence. Each team member had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the engineers and see the career possibilities they have in the future if they continue with space education.

nikita-unitAfter both presentations, we breaked for a spaghetti lunch with all alongside us. Once everyone’s stomachs were full, the students, Nikita his collegue, Evgeniy Zakutin --the working engineer at ISEI, myself, workshop leader--Ralf Heckel and his two daughters--Cosma and Tara, traveled to the nearby park for Rover training. We all tested what it was like to drive in the first seat of the Rover and to pedal in the second seat. We tested it in obstacles of sand and riding over a small concrete hill. Some students had had experience, others not. It was my first time in the Rover and I now know that it is definitely more difficult than it looks.

After the Rover training, around 4:00 p.m., I left with Evgeniy Zakutin to give a short tour of Leipzig to our two Russian guests. The students went to the institute and started to write their reports.

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

amanda-unitAt my arrival to the workshop on Sunday, the telemetry unit finished. An electronic- and physic-teacher gave an overview about the Rover´s telemetry. I held a one hour graphic design lesson to teach the students how to create a team logo for each of their schools. I broke the design process into three parts.

Firstly, I asked what are the values of the team. Words like success, safety, teamwork, etc. were spoken across the three languages we were working in; Spanish, German and English. It made for a quite entertaining mix.

The next question was about which images could be created to represent each of these values. I explained how this part can be tricky. Often the values are complex ideas, but the resulting graphics need to be simple.

Thirdly, we created a cohesive image that could combine the three favorite values within the team patch circle.

I assigned the students to each brainstorm ten more values and ways to depict each. In the upcoming week, we will sit together to refine their sketches. Following the lesson, we sat together to eat a lunch of homemade chicken noodle soup.

team-2014jannis-vincentAfter the meal, it was time for another set of training. This day included one more challenge than the previous Saturday. Each team member had to attempt to drive the Rover up a small, but steep grassy hill. We learned that in order to achieve a goal like this, the drivers have to start with a lot of power. With each drive, the team understood more about how the Rover works and increased their individual skill levels.

sandbig-hillAround 3:00 p.m., we returned to the institute to build “mini Rovers.” Tobias Meier introduced to the class how to build it, then Ralf continued with more detailed instructions. Each student and myself were given our own metal Rover dye-cut to de-construct and build into a functioning mini Rover. Firstly we had to cut and round screws that we would later use for the axles. Then we followed the mini Rover manual for step-by-step image instructions.

minirovervincentFollowing the mini Rover construction, I recorded a video of Tobias teaching how to build the mini Rover in German, Lennart Lederer teaching it in English and Araceli Zeller teaching it in Spanish. It is important for the students to not only know how to build and develop the Rover, but also to be able to move forth and teach how to build the Rover. This creates thorough understanding.

The weekend workshop consisted of several, interlinking aspects. The technical/engineering side and the physical side were tackled equally. The students can only succeed in the physical race if each member understands how the wheels are affixed, what parts are moving exactly when the driver steers, and so forth. The training in the park is also important. It builds muscle memory for driving the Rover and it also helps them to understand why the Rover is designed as it is.

lrpscheilAt the last 3rd day the students learned more about sponsoring, presswork and marketing. Ralf drove with them to several companies and explained them how to collect sympathie and donators money.

I look forward to seeing the further development and successes in each of the Team Germany members.

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