Introduction to engineering – Arousing a desire for technology

8 JANUARY 2020

Door-Opener Day of the “Show with the Mouse” on all six continents at drive specialist Ziehl-Abegg

The Door-Opener Day of the German “Show with the Mouse” gets children the chance to take a look behind doors which would otherwise remain closed to them. The industrial company Ziehl-Abegg offered this year, on all six continents, that children built an electric motor. “We introduced 100 children to engineering”, says Peter Fenkl, CEO of Ziehl-Abegg.

“Our aim was to inspire children’s interest in the technical world,” explains Peter Fenkl. The Door-Opener Day of the “Show with the Mouse” is held every year when hundreds of German institutions and companies open their doors to children. “As a specialist in quiet and efficient fans and electric motors, Ziehl-Abegg was putting the focus of the 2019 Door-Opener Day on its core area of expertise, the electric motor”, says the CEO.

Project manager Sophie Grill adds: “We explained to the children how we are surrounded by electric motors which govern our everyday lives 24/7 and how they basically work.” The 23-year-old is an apprentice who coordinated a team of six other apprentices. “We planned the whole thing in full, from designing the baseplate to the packaging or the T-shirt,” she says. For example, two commercial apprentices had produced a training video in English and a multilingual set of assembly instructions so that helpers in the other countries know how to create the coil for and build the electric motor. We also dealt with other aspects such as websites, packaging or catering.

The “Show with the Mouse” doesn’t aim to be just an “Open Day” – the intention instead is to provide children with glimpses behind the scenes and – as far as possible – enable them to make something themselves. Roughly 100 children between 9 and 12 year came to Ziehl-Abegg in Derrimut (Australia), Singapore (Asia), Johannesburg (South Africa), Cajamar (Brazil), Greensboro (USA) and Kupferzell (Germany). They all built an electric motor. The 23-year-old Sophie Grill emphasises that this international action goes hand in hand with the company’s development: “We started selling our products on the international markets in 1972, then ‘internationalised’ our production and subsequently brought the successful model of dual training to France, Hungary, Brazil and the USA – making an international Door-Opener Day for the “Show with the Mouse” the next logical step.”

Ziehl-Abegg has been supporting the Albert Schweitzer Children’s Village for many years, promoting school partnerships and has been involved in the important German Open-Air Museum Wackershofen. “The aim of this action is to broaden the international nature of our social commitment and to offer the children in the subsidiaries a day which is both unusual and exciting,” explains apprentice Sophie Grill.

This action has never been staged before; as such, Sophie believes that the preparation for the event was a major challenge for the apprentices. Support for this has been tremendous across all departments in the Hohenlohe plants and the employees in the subsidiaries are very much in favour of this unusual project. „“At the end of May, we apprentices gave a presentation to the Managing Directors from the subsidiaries in Australia, Asia, Brazil, South Africa and the USA on how the coil for the kit is created and the motor is assembled.” CEO Fenkl: “The happy faces show that the event was a big success!”

You see a lot of photos here (download possible):



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