W&H’s Spürnasenecke gives children experience with electronics and IT

Experimenting with the new electronics kit: Viola Malata closes the circuit and the propeller takes off. Pictured l to r: Emma Unger, Viola Malata, Aurelia and Matilda Unger.
Experimenting with the new electronics kit

Children discover the high-tech world through play

From bright LEDs to a rotating propeller and an autonomous controlled robot – there is lots to discover at the Spürnasenecke research lab. With new experiments from the world of electronics and IT, this popular facility gives nursery school children their first peek into the fascinating world of technology. Equipped with a new electronics kit, the children work on a selection of experiments that focuses on important fundamentals of electronics, such as circuits, switches and conductors. Furthermore, they are invited to work out the right commands for a new robot, giving them their first taste of programming.

“The new experiment sets give the budding researchers the opportunity to try out some interesting challenges for themselves and to get to grips with the technical processes involved in an easy-to-understand way. As the main sponsor, we want the Spürnasenecke to have a particular focus on technology, as we firmly believe that the earlier you develop an enthusiasm for technology, the easier it is to find your way in our high-tech society,” says Daniela Malata, W&H Vice President Human Resources. Spürnasenecke is supported by the Salzburg branch of the Federation of Austrian Industry and the Salzburg Chamber of Commerce, and there are plans to extend the service to cover the entire province of Salzburg.

Emma Unger presses the start button and the robot performs the programmed movements completely autonomously. Pictured l to r: Viola Malata and the three sisters Emma, Matilda and Aurelia Unger.
Robot performs the programmed movements autonomously
Emma Unger cranks the hand-operated generator to produce electricity for the LED.
Hand-operated generator produces electricity for the LED

At Spürnasenecke, the popular research lab for nursery school children, little explorers are led on a voyage of discovery by specially trained teachers. They discover the world of nature and technology through play using the various research tools and experiments at their disposal. New challenges from the fields of electronics and IT have now been added to the range of experiments available; a move which specially marks Spürnasenecke’s decision to place increased emphasis on technology. “When setting up the new experiments, we made sure that their design was tailored to nursery school children. Our aim is to encourage boys’ and girls’ inquiring minds and enable them to see and experience technical principles up close,” explains Bernadette Unger, co-founder of Spürnasenecke and a nursery school teacher.

Taking their first steps in electronics

Launching a propeller and generating electricity for a LED are just two examples of the exciting experiments in the new electronics kit. The simple push-button system ensures that even children can manage to set it up safely. With the help of expert guides, children can build circuits, insert switches and add important conductors. The way a series circuit works is also demonstrated. In addition to electronics, physical effects such as air flow are also explored and children can engage with these by launching a propeller into the air.

Emma Unger programming the robot. Pictured l to r: Viola Malata and the sisters Emma and Matilda Unger
Programming the robot
Budding researcher Matilda Unger works diligently at the electronics kit and lights up the LED.
: Electronics kit lights up the LED

Robot promotes logical and abstract thinking

Another highlight at Spürnasenecke is the new robot, which gives children their first insights into the world of IT. The mini IT experts can program the robot with various commands in a way that is easy and fun. The robot starts moving when they press the start button and performs all the commands entirely independently – just the same as in actual computer programs. This calls for the children to use foresight and think in an abstract way – completely detached from the robot performing the commands – and this is a particular challenge for them. “The new experiment introduces children to the mind-set needed for IT. They learn various problem-solving strategies in a fun way and gain valuable insights into the basic principles of logical and process-oriented thinking, something which is particularly in demand in today's high-tech world,” says Bernadette Unger.

Electronics and IT are two fields that are in demand in our technical world. Daniela Malata, W&H Vice President Human Resources, and Bernadette Unger, co-founder of Spürnasenecke and a nursery school teacher, believe it is essential to nurture technical skills at an early age.
Daniela Malata (W&H Vice President Human Resources) Bernadette Unger (Spürnasenecke and nursery-school teacher)

With an increased focus on the areas of electronics and IT, Spürnasenecke teaches even the youngest children about technology in a way that is easy to understand.

“Children can experiment to their hearts’ content at Spürnasenecke, helping them to discover their passion and talent for technology. Our clear aim with the new experiments is to encourage young engineering talent at an early stage,” says Daniela Malata in closing.