Have you ever realized how important it is to start preparing the future generation for the problems they will have to solve? So we do. That’s why we’ve joined Europe-wide event Meet and Code. The aim of this event is to introduce children and students to the world of modern technology in a fun way. By discovering all these technologies, creative and simple programming, they have the courage to embark on larger projects or develop the digital skills they need in today’s world. Thanks to all these technologies we have the possibility to effectively solve even global problems.
We organized a total of two events on the same principle, only for different age groups. for young children and older students of primary or secondary schools. Both of these days we’ve been involved since the Code for the Planet challenge to support SDG13 – climte action.
Younger children were tasked to build in Minecraft their ideas on how to tackle climate change or ocean pollution. On the contrary, older children in this area thought how to solve these problems using artificial intelligence, such as used to recognize the kind of garbage or recognizer of clean and dirty floors.
We’ve been pleased to took a part in this global event.
Understanding artificial intelligence through play
Project days “Our companies”, thanks to their success and popularity among pupils, motivated us to create another project day. We’ve focused on AI – we’ve capitalized on the experience from our Program for AI Creators classes too. It is based on the simple principle of learning through playing and tries to explain to students how artificial intelligence works, how to work with it and how to create AI solutions. It seems like it’s a rocket science and it’s hard to understand it. On the contrary, there’s nothing complicated about AI. It works almost like any other device around us. And that’s why it’s even easier to understand it during the game.
Vision – Speech – Understanding
Our first test day took place at the Luděk Pika Grammar School in Pilsen. The program consisted of computer vision, speech technology (speaking and listening) and text comprehension. The whole day consisted in building AI startup – a company from the ground up, in the field of artificial intelligence. The students were thrilled, and when Michal the TJ bot from IBM greeted them, and further given tasks, they quickly understood what was required and what was required of them. Throughout the game, they were able to understand and understand the various processes and simple programming of artificial intelligence.
They led their fancy business from the very beginning to real products, such as artificial intelligence for finding ideal holiday from offers from various travel agencies, checking motorway drivers’ awareness, classroom and public cleanliness, etc.
We hope that there will be plenty of opportunities to give students the opportunity to come up with such interesting ideas, as well as opportunities to improve the project day itself.
We launched the Hydrogen automotive challenge H2AC (racing RC hydrogen cars models ) in January 2019. The sponsor of the historically first hydrogen car team was the Správa informačních technologií města Plzně. Students from Pilsen’s INFIS, SPŠE and SOUEP joined the program. Involved high school students very quickly had to build the first version of a hydrogen powered car. During the construction, the students discovered the key features of the hydrogen-cell electric vehicle (FCEV), where and how electricity is taken from fuel cells in combination with batteries. Understanding the basics and successfully assembling the first version of the car allowed them to participate in their first races in Brno at ISŠA Brno, where they gathered valuable experience and inspiration to improve the model. Hydrogen car races are endurance with a limited amount of hydrogen and batteries. So it is all about saving energy during the whole race. The key to success is maximizing the use of hydrogen in both cartridges and batteries, and according to this state, to plan pit stops correctly.
Knowing the state of hydrogen and battery consumption is crucial
The Horizon Grand Prix (formerly H2AC) final races are 6 hours with a limit of 20 hydrogen bombs and 4 sets of batteries. The team came up with a proposal for remote measurement of both hydrogen and battery consumption, so that they could accurately manage boxing stops and replace hydrogen cartridges and batteries. The SIT Port Garage provides the workspace for the team to do all improvements. After completing all the preparations, the Pilsdrogen (Pilsen-hydrogen) team set out for the national final – Horizon Grand Prix – in Ostrava. Although the boys were finished at last position, they fought until the last drop of hydrogen. In addition to the jury’s appreciation for the technical solution of remote consumption metering, the guys have gained enormous experience.
Preparing for a new hydrogen season
We organized an exhibition race in Pilsen as part of the Dronfest 2019 at the very end of the season. A total of 5 teams from Pilsen, Hubálov and Kutná Hora secondary schools competed there.
As some of the Pilsen’s team members started their studies at university, it is necessary to add new high school students to the Pilsdrogen team for the upcoming season.
You can see the racing hydrogen car for example at DVT 2019 in Pilsen, where you can also join the team and shine next season.
And now some technical details …
Team members: David Žahour, Jan Kucera, Patrik Vacal, Jakub Kolar and Michal Klecka.
What did the boys learn and create in the project?
Patrik gathered insights from the whole team:
3D designs (hydrogen cartridge holder)
We designed the holder in Fusion 360, then we printed this model in the SIT Port Garage on the 3D printer Prusa Mk3. 3D printing allowed us to quickly prototype (we had 3 prototypes) and at the same time relatively simple production of parts.
Operation of hydrogen propulsion
When designing a toy car, we found out what the hydrogen fuel cell works for and how it works in different situations. Thanks to this we are able to design its optimal use.
Creating printed circuit boards
To measure consumption we designed our own PCB in Eagle. We measured the voltage and current that we sent via bluetooth. We know how to design and install PCBs.
In Python, we plotted graphs from the data received from the measuring PCB and using the integrals we calculated the current amount of energy consumed. These calculations can be used next year for faster development of the new version of the application and also for the consumption figures in other projects.
Finally, our lessons learned, in other words, what to do in the new season:
Engine efficiency was poor as expected
it was a DC brush motor, now we have a new one
As expected, the battery efficiency was poor too
NiMH cells have a relatively steep discharge curve, losing up to a quarter of the capacity when consuming more current.
The fuel cell is heavy
does not necessarily limit us, but every gram counts
The fuel cell may be more efficient
Reportedly the fuel cell is more efficient the less current it gives, we send less hydrogen to it to produce less, while just maybe carrying just one cartridge
The chassis is not perfect for folding the center of gravity
At the bottom of the chassis there is plenty of space left to hold the components, which could reduce the center of gravity.
The measuring board was unreliable
During the testing we forgot the fact that the frequency of 2.4 GHz to which Bluetooth communicates will be disturbed (there were all transmitters / drivers and lots of WiFi networks), but it is also possible that the parameters of the transmitter were incorrectly set in the code
The hydrogen transfer tubing was not strong enough
During the race, we also fought frequent leaks of hydrogen from tubing, which were more and we could not locate them in time. We’ve lost a lot of precious hydrogen.
Our next Minecraft suburban education camp is over. The children once again performed miracles. The topics were the same: Smart farming and Smart living, or how to solve everything in the future in an environmentally friendly, fast, cheap and unnecessary way, wasting and polluting our planet.
The teams came up with great ideas and a solution. Some were similar and some were quite original and unexpected.
The future belongs to entertainment
For example, the theme park of the future. The guys invented this concept perhaps because they were the youngest and as we know, kids like to have fun. They certainly did not forget the future when robots would do everything for us. So what is left for people? Yes! Entertainment. That means there must be a place to have fun. Even though they were just having fun, they’ve learned something. After all, to program sky wars or laser games in Minecraft is quite a job.
A farm next to the house and a smart city solves transport problems
Other concepts were a house farm or a smart integrated city. This is definitely a great solution for transport in the future. The boys invented the automation for fields sowing and harvesting. The harvested crops then travel through their programmed sorter to the store and to the house where they are stored in the warehouse. A clever solution to prevent pollution in the form of exhausts and greenhouse gases from trucks, ships or aircraft. This will save you time and money on shipping and make food much more fresh without the need for chemistry. In addition, the smart city was supplied with energy from hydrogen, the houses were printed by 3D printers and there were also spaces for rest and entertainment.
The projects had a clear plan
In just five days, the teams managed to drive their way from the project kick-off to the final presentation on Friday. After watching inspirational videos, everyone thought about what they wanted to do, on Monday. Five teams were created after the presentations. Towards the end of the day, the teams prepared a concept and started building as fact as they can on Tuesday. They drew up a plan with a concept of what they had already done and what they would need to work on. Automatation, which was very difficult, came up on Thursday. After a while, the details were tuned. During Friday morning teams worked 100%. They made and edited videos in English and then prepared a final presentation, which was finally presented to invited parents. After hilarious presentations, which were awarded with huge applause, all that remained was to hand over the certificates and the camp was over.
The teams have lots of fun and have done a huge amount of work. We hope to meet in the future for some big project. That is Program for creators.
Come to visit us at the Days of Science and Technology in Pilsen on September 20 – 21. 2019 at the Republic Square. This year Nvias will again participate as an exhibitor, even with three themes. A hydrogen car, artificial intelligence and of course Minecraft will not be missing.
With a hydrogen car, students will introduce you to the true future of the automotive industry – hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Also on this occasion will be looking for new members (students) for the team for the next season of Horizon Grand Prix.
Michael – our TJBot from IBM or Alexa and Google Voice Kit will welcome you on the next table. You will learn how artificial intelligence (AI) really works and that it is not as complicated as it looks, you will even try it.
The third topic – Minecraft – redstone circuits, commands and command blocks will of course not be missing.
We are looking forward to seeing you and hope for a lot of visitors.
40 hours of working successfully behind us! The plan of the week came out as we wanted … 20:40 hrs in Minecraft (building + programming), 4:40 hrs presentation, 3:20 hrs project work (plans + revisions, off-computer), 3:45 hrs sport, games and outdoor activities, 1:20 hrs listening to the assignment and the remaining 6:15 hrs took us lunches and snacks. This is how project-based learning takes place using the Minecraft virtual environment.
Plan of the week
On Monday we divided the topics. There were three choices: smart farming, smart living and smart city. We have 4 teams. Each morning the teams planned their tasks and started working in the minecraft. Then after a small snack and a few games outside we went to work again. Because there are no cakes without work, we did not have to worry and we were happy to have a great lunch. The afternoon was mostly filled with project work and outdoor activities.
As a result of our weekly work we got 4 projects – prototypes in Minecraft, which we automated by ourselves using redstone and command block. In the end, the teams made a 3-minute video and prepared a final presentation, which they presented on Friday to the audience.
So the children learned not only how to work in a team, but also to realize their own real project and to assert themselves in the future to attract sponsors or companies. Such experiences will certainly come in handy in their lives.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing dramatically, providing important information, remotely managing different technologies and gradually making our daily lives easier. This development is mainly due to modern electronics and wireless data low power transmission technology. This ensures that a conventional IoT device is in operation with one battery for several years. Examples of applications include accurate shipment tracking, remotely controlled device switching, water status and water meter control or complete irrigation control. For the Internet of Things, nvias also wants to educate new creators, so we have prepared an IoT workshop in cooperation with TData in the designated areas – SIT Port Garage. The workshop was free of charge for students and was fully funded by the Information Technology Administration of Pilsen.
Production of an IoT sensor
The students produced their own battery-powered LoRa sensors based on Microchip, Murata, Bosch Sensortec and others. Indeed there were no toys. IoT Workshop really surprised us. Although it was targeted mainly for participants with no previous electronics manufacturing experience, they all did their job.
The workshop lasted for 3 days and during this time students were asked to install professional hardware and then apply the firmware they customized. The first day was a fundamental theory that the students appreciated later in the implementation and programming of their sensors. For example, they learned what equipment and tools they will have and how to use them. They also learned about the design process and the scheme of their new IoT sensor.
On the second day, they were already preparing components and putting on PCB (printed circuit board). In the evening, they even started testing, removing bugs, and fine-tuning details.
Finally, on day 3, they started firmware programming their created sensors and sending data through the LoRa network to the cloud, where they created their own data visualization. At the end, everyone took home their manufactured IoT sensor, which measures temperature and humidity. Everyone then chose how sensor will be used. One of the teams might have placed it in SIT Port Garage to monitor their work environment.
Our companies connect Pilsen region, elementary schools and companies in the region
Children enjoy playing, real experiences and the opportunity to try things practically. Project day Our Company “Naše firmy” connects all these experiences and, together with representatives of real companies, aims at studying in areas with high added value such as science, research, marketing…. It ensures the development of business competencies together with creativity and initiative, communication and teamwork.
Project extension in the Pilsen Region
As a part of its vocational training program, the Pilsen Region supported the realization of our companies at selected primary schools in the region. Pupils from Klatovy ZŠ Plánická ul., ZŠ Čapkova street and Masarykova ZŠ were involved. From Domažlice Elementary School Komenského ul., Primary school and kindergarten Msgre. B. Stašek and then the elementary school Staňkov, ZŠ Bor, and ZŠ Hornická in Tachov.
The company’s support for project days is crucial, both in terms of funding and know-how transfer. It is important that companies in their social responsibility realize the benefits of supporting project days in their region.
“Today, no one can imagine exactly what to expect in the future. Grammer CZ customers rely on the creative and innovative solutions that the company creates. That is why we support project days Our companies, which develop skills for the 21st century, such as creativity, critical and informative thinking, communication and teamwork, ”says Martin Kuržeja, HR manager of Grammer CZ on the question of why our companies support project days.
An example of transferring know-how from the corporate environment to schools is the exemplary Value Proposition Canvas from ZF Staňkov. Using this pattern, pupils can more easily understand the work with this template and can better design their own unique value for their customers.
Opportunity for pupils
Our companies bring project learning to schools, which means practical application and learning of new skills and knowledge from different disciplines. The main goal is to motivate pupils to develop their talents. Everyone will find activities in the company that they enjoy and in which they stand out.
“In our region, it is very important to show children the way and opportunities for further education in fields with high added value. That is why the project day is a great opportunity for pupils to gain a lot of new experience. The cooperation with local companies allows children to practice real jobs . We very much appreciate the support from Technické pružiny SCHERDEL company, which has supported the project,” says Mgr. Daniel Koblen, Director of Elementary School Bor.
“It was fun. We used to build a robot, we used to go for cards with assignment and we programmed the robots. We just made our own business. We made up our logo, the name, how it would go, etc., ” commented one of the pupil from the elementary school Bor. Other pupils add: “It’s a lot of fun, getting to know new things and working with others in the group.”, “… and it can help you to decide what you would like to study next. “,” You realize if you would like to work for the company, or what you would like to do.” the pupils agree.
Answers to other questions are also available from Bor’s Elementary School pupils. For example, what part of the project day is most interesting. Interesting is the comparison with the answers from Pilsen pupils, which was most interested in the investment game itself (the game is focused on understanding and creation of value added companies). For pupils from Bor, the programming of the robot and the creation of their own marketing was just as interesting as the game. We perceive it as a very positive taste, learning new things and also the joy of results, because it is the certification of programs and the creation of marketing that is much visible in building a company.
Plans for development
“We designed the project day in cooperation with nvias in order to motivate children to do business and to study technical fields. We are pleased that nvias is expanding this amazing project beyond the city borders,” says Ing. Anna Čudáková, project manager responsible for support of entrepreneurship in SITMP. nvias.org is planning to expand project days Our companies in the region. If you are interested to join, do not hesitate to contact them.
Startups change the world. Teams made up of people with an idea to change something. There are plenty of events to support them. One of them is Startup Weekend. One weekend focused on finding problems and creating a startup that will solve it.
Some of the guys, however, have so many ideas that our Startup Weekend Pilsen, which took place in February, was not enough for them. That is why we had the honor to support the March visit of Startup Weekend in Bratislava.
The boys have solved the problem of collecting too many unnecessary things. They created an application that will only have these things virtually and will not occupy you a real place. The jury liked the idea and They won the nice 3rd place!