Girl students discover the appeal of technology
Posted on February 17, 2011
They never imagined engine-making to be such a wide and fascinating subject, said the girl students after spending two afternoons at Tognum, the propulsion and power generation specialist based in Friedrichshafen.
- Junior Engineers’ Academy inspires secondary-school girls’ interest in engine-making
Friedrichshafen, 17 February 2011. They never imagined engine-making to be such a wide and fascinating subject, said the girl students after spending two afternoons at Tognum, the propulsion and power generation specialist based in Friedrichshafen. 13 pupils from St Elisabeth’s secondary school for girls had come to the company to gain insights into the activities of engineers and skilled workers. The junior engineers’ academy, a joint project between educational institutions and business, aims to inspire the interest of secondary school students in technology and encourage them to pursue technical careers.
Over five afternoons, 13 girl students got to know the many facets of Tognum and its subsidiary MTU Friedrichshafen. "It’s important that the girls gain insight into the field as a whole, and not just specific tasks," explained Andreas Blank, who teaches technical drawing at the company. The girls also considered it important to get the bigger picture: "It surprised us that technical drawing can actually be fun," they unanimously concluded after visiting Andreas Blank.
During a tour of production and assembly in mtu’s plant 2 in Manzell, the visitors got to know the engine spectrum and the various working steps involved in building engines. Besides learning CAD, they also had to show their manual skills by making a key ring pendant in the apprentices’ workshop and soldering an electronic roulette game in the electronics workshop. As they did the work, apprentices and students from the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, where a visit is also to take place, were on hand to provide support. On their last day at Tognum, a discussion was organized between managerial staff and all those involved in the project.
Tognum’s Junior Engineers’ Academy is bearing fruit. Three of the eleven schoolgirls who came to Tognum when the event was first organized in 2009 are now being trained in CAD at the company. Martin Stocker, head of training at Tognum, is enthusiastic: "Since setting up the Junior Engineers’ Academy and 'Girls’ Day', the number of female applicants has grown significantly, and 25 young women are currently undergoing industrial-technical training." The girl students most recently invited to taste life at Tognum cannot yet say whether they will end up choosing a technical occupation. But they agree unanimously that technology can be fun.