For two decades, "Kreative Köpfe" (creative minds) has been motivating students to follow their inventiveness and spirit of discovery. Students between the ages of 13 and 18 who are enthusiastic about STEM can take part in the competition organized by the “Junge Kreative Köpfe” foundation and implement their project ideas with the support of experts from local companies. As a supporting company from the start, BARTEC experts accompanied three more great projects in the anniversary year 2023.
Project 1: Foil Fixture
An issue well known to most people: As soon as you pull plastic wrap off the roll trying to use it, it sticks. Rahel Kapp, Emily Springer and Julie Schneider from the business school in Bad Mergentheim came up with the idea for their project from an everyday observation: the foil must be taut when you tear it off in order to pack something. The solution: a plastic holder with a zipper with an integrated blade. You take the plastic wrap out of the plastic holder with a clamp – the film is stretched and can be placed around a bowl without the film sticking.
With this idea they won first place in the competition in the category "Saving Resources". Their BARTEC supervisors, Mirco Hohstadt, Anja Brennfleck and Kersten Mauritz, are very pleased with the result. "It's always interesting to experience what ideas the students come up with when they see problems in their everyday life – and then to see the bright eyes when they finally hold their finished prototype in their hands."
Project 2: Water Level Plants
Carolin Schumann and Rosina Mühleck (Weikersheim high school) also dedicated themselves to an invention intended to make everyday life easier: a sensor in a flowerpot that makes sure the plant always receives the optimal supply of water.
The sensor is programmed to the ideal moisture level for the specific plant and placed into the potting soil. If the moisture is too low, a message is sent to an app that the plant is drying out. If the plant is watered, the sensor beeps as soon as the ideal humidity is reached again.
"I think it is very important to show young people the working world and what the process is like when a project is created from idea to completion," says BARTEC supervisor Thomas Lede. "This helps immensely in later working life as it mirrors the real working world." The effort was worth it, as the students secured second place in the category "Marketability".
Project 3: Bicycle handlebar heating
The third project that was able to win a prize with the support of a BARTEC mentoring team is the “bicycle handlebar heating” by Leila Grünewald and Julius Haberkorn (Deutschorden-Gymnasium Weikersheim). They were awarded third prize in the “Overall Prize” category.
With the handlebar heating, the team wants to make cycling more comfortable, whilst keeping the environment and money in mind: If it becomes more comfortable to go somewhere by bike, more people might leave their cars at home. The team's BARTEC consultants, Sripriya Jb, Jürgen Blau and Jochen Tessmer, were also enthusiastic about the idea: "The EHT Business Unit likes to participate in the campaign every year because we are a technology-savvy company. We see this as an opportunity to support young people with an interest in technology and help them take a step forward. The participants in this year's program are exceptionally committed and always very well prepared.”
BARTEC has been one of the sponsoring companies of the "Creative Minds" competition for young talents since its foundation 20 years ago by Dr. Manfred Wittenstein. The aim was and still is to awaken the spirit of discovery and invention in students and to get them excited about technology and natural sciences. At the same time, they get an insight into how creative processes take place in the company.