OÖ/KLAFFER/Ö. With “missimo: Your Mission Tomorrow”, a unique educational project in Austria will be launched at the end of September by the private non-profit foundation Kaiserschild in cooperation with the Ars Electronica Center. The impressive double-decker Missimo truck – 16.5 m long, 6.5 m high and weighing 22 t – travels to primary schools in rural areas and provides an interactive experience space for future technologies on a mobile exhibition area of 100 m².
“With missimo, we want to inspire students in a playful environment for the MINT world of tomorrow and for the technologies of the future. It is about empowering young people to actively shape the future instead of just using it passively. missimo is aimed at schools in rural areas, as museum spaces and digital educational programs are often difficult to access there”, explains Marco Alfter, CEO of the private non-profit foundation Kaiserschild.
An exciting journey of discovery for primary school students
3rd and 4th graders get their first experience with robotics, sensors, bionics, coding and artificial intelligence in the truck. A total of six stations and a so-called magic mirror must be mastered on this journey of discovery, and that within an hour.
“A fast kid can do five stations and the Magic Mirror. But it’s not about doing everything. It’s about the joy and positive experiences children have,” says Christoph Kremer, director of the Ars Electronica Center, which is behind the technical implementation.
“Making the technologies of the future tangible and understandable is one of Ars Electronica’s core competencies, for which we live and burn. We put this enthusiasm into this unique and innovative project. The technology was developed by our experts from the Ars Electronica Futurelab and the DigiTrainers will provide on-site support in primary schools,” emphasizes Gerfried Stocker, CEO and Artistic Director of Ars Electronica. The emphasis is on accompaniment and not on guidance. “Children have to find the solutions themselves.”
But the tech experience doesn’t stop when you visit the truck. Each student will receive a free workshop kit. This can then be used in regular school lessons as part of basic digital education or by the children of the house to intensify their future skills.
Teachers can also learn something
missimo also offers teachers low-threshold access to lots of new content. In specially designed three-stage teacher trainings, all teachers can acquire new skills that make them fit to teach with a view to the future.
Module 1 is followed beforehand by the teachers and forms the basis for close cooperation between the Missimo team and the local primary schools. The entire missimo training program is recognized by teachers as official continuing education.
Pilot schools were involved
Pilot schools such as the Klaffer primary school in Hochficht ensure that the truck keeps its promises. In April, 3rd and 4th year students were already allowed to test the AEC stations. Their feedback fed into the final implementation.
“It was a great experience for both students and teachers. The kids were always smiling at the various stations and everyone went home with a sense of accomplishment. For us, it was a highlight of the past school year. I can only recommend that all schools use this offer as part of their basic digital education,” reports Christine Haselsteiner, director of the Klaffer primary school in Hochficht, about her experience with missimo.
Nearly 300 school registrations already
A recommendation that schools seem to have taken to heart for a long time. Because the demand is already huge. “Even before our IPO, we had already registered nearly 300 school enrollments throughout Austria,” says Kremer.
This means that the first school year is largely already full, as approximately 250 schools are targeted per year, one to two schools per week. It starts at the end of September in Upper Austria. Then, a tour through all the Länder is planned during the first year, so to speak as a series of presentations.
Overall, the project is initially designed for a period of five years, with an option to extend. In total, around 400 primary schools in Upper Austria are to be served there.
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