At appealing locations, top technology companies give a peek into their organization. As a valve to the Dutch Technology Week, the High Tech Discovery Route brings you along all high tech hotspots in the region. For young and old, for professionals and lovers, this day is full of surprising discoveries for everyone! There is a lot to see, to do, to experience it’s a day where you experience, as a visitor, that you are living, working in a high-tech country where you can be proud of. In a series of articles, E52 already took a look at the DTW High Tech hotspots. Today Kempen Tech.

At the ‘Kempische Bedrijventerrein’ in Hapert, you can see the electric tourbike of the student-team STORM amongst other things. With this bike they made a 80-day trip around the world and technique coaches help the children with activities like soldering and making pendants.

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    “You can’t start too early to introduce children to technology”, Jan van der Sanden says. “When they are 4 years old and ready to go to school, they may build, throw, try en use all sorts of ‘technical attributes’ like a sand-water table. And at a certain point in time, when they go to the third grade, books come along and their playing time is reduces heavily. Even in the higher grades books come first. Experimenting with materials and making things with their hands becomes less important.”

    Van der Sanden wants to make children enthusiastic about technique. “I sometimes use the imaginary of letting children choose the favorite ice-cream behind the showcase, they need to know what they taste. Children can’t be in favor or against technique if they don’t know what it is.”

    Technique coaches are active at the elementary Schools in the Kempen area. They help the teachers to teach about technique, by doing simple experiments of organizing an excursion to a technical company. The school decides how many times they make use of this coaches. During the discoverroute they help the children.

    “It is actually more like a experience route, to experience what’s for sale in technique”Jan van der Sanden, Projectleader techniekcoaches

    This hotspot is all about sustainability and innovation. There are two tents in which mainly construction and installation companies show what they do. Also a bus will drive to the companies which have opened their doors that day, like the family business KSE in Bladel, Van der Sanden tells. “There is something for all ages. The older ones may come in contact with companies about a possible internship.”

    “You can make something with your own hands with a soldering iron, file and scissors and just see what is behind those facades. It is actually more of an experience route, to experience what’s for sale in technique.”

    The students team STORM of TU/e will demonstrate their handmade electric bike with which they made 80-day around the world trip. During the High Tech Discover trail you can see it drive, touch or even sit on it, team member Bas Verkaik tells. “We wanted to show the world how far along electric driving already is.”

    It took them two years to build the bike, STORM Wave, and they prepared themselves for the journey. At August the 14th last year they finally took off and headed towards Münich. Exactly 80 days later they arrived via Paris in Eindhoven. They visited a lot of different countries in Europe, Asia and the United States of America.

    “We passed through countries of which I had not known they existed otherwise, like Turkmenistan and Kyryzstan (both Central-Asia). Countries where they had never heard of electric driving.” During the discover trail the students tell their stories and show you images and videos of their trip.

    With 24 different batteries STORM Wave was provided with energy. The bike has a block in which several batteries can be placed. The empty ones were replaced by full ones during the night.

    “We want to show that electric driving is sexy”, Verkaik says. Also with the building of the bike all sorts of technique come together, he tells. 23 students all from different technical studies worked together to build it. Studies like electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software, industrial engineering. “Technique is a whole lot more than physics and mathematics. It is much more than solving sums, it is very practical as well. You can even build your own bike.”

    Visit these hotspots on the 20th of May, from 11:00 till 17:00: De Ontdekfabriek and Strijp-S (Eindhoven), Philips Innovation Center Eindhoven North (Best), High Tech Helmond – De Peel (location HVL – MCM in Liessel/Deurne), High Tech Campus Eindhoven and Kempen Tech (Hapert).

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    About the author

    Author profile picture Corine Spaans is a writer. She is particularly interested in the stories of the people behind the innovations and has a passion for sport (innovation).