Winter School “MAKERS 5.0.” is an “Erasmus+” Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) organised by VILNIUS TECH “LinkMenų fabrikas”, which students from VILNIUS TECH, Riga Technical University (Latvia), and Athena Alliance Universities – Università Niccolò Cusano (Italy), Politécnico do Porto (Portugal), Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece) attended. Over 30 students participated in the Winter School, working in interdisciplinary teams, attending remote and live lectures, learning the basics of electronics and 3D printing, and finally presenting the prototypes of the products they developed.
From intelligent toys for kids to indoor air quality detectors
One of the student teams participating in the Winter School presented an intelligent toy to stimulate children’s critical thinking, creativity, and learning. The prototype, called “Phanthom FB1”, is an interactive educational toy in the form of a modular car. Each part of the car has sensors that identify whether the rest of the vehicle is assembled correctly. Over three days, the students made the engine compartment and the wheels. The students hope this toy can develop children’s construction skills and mechanical knowledge.
Another team presented an air quality detector of their own making, which can measure indoor air temperature, relative humidity, and air quality and can react to smoke and gases produced during combustion. Another team also presented the air quality detector – the unique feature is that it is also a luminaire. The air quality data is not represented by numerical data but by lights whose colour indicates the air quality inside the room.
The “Light it up!” team presented a device to address issues such as excessive screen time, the need to innovate the education system and the development of new learning tools. Their prototype is an illuminated toy that uses a flashlight to show luminous illustrations. According to the “Light it up!” team, this toy, designed for children aged 2-6, can help children learn mathematics.
The team behind the “Smart Smoke Detector” has developed a prototype of a children’s toy and smoke detector. This prototype consists of different parts printed on a 3D printer, which, when assembled, makes a children’s toy and smoke detector in one. The team claimed that the toy stimulates children’s creativity and acts like an accurate smoke detector, thus ensuring safety.
VILNIUS TECH LinkMenų fabrikas’ interdisciplinarity
“International Winter School “MAKERS 5.0.” is one of the best examples of the intertwining of international university cooperation and student work in interdisciplinary teams. During this winter school, students deepened their knowledge in the fields of electronics, 3D printing and product design, so we can be happy not only with the prototypes that students have but also with the university contacts and the widened circle of contacts that they have established. Most of the winter school students are already looking forward to the opportunity to come back to “LinkMenų fabrikas,” says VILNIUS TECH “LinkMenų fabrikas” Deputy Director, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jurga Naimavičienė.