For almost 170 years now, the Bonding Engineers have been developing ever new bonding solutions for various industries. It’s not surprising the inventiveness of the youth competition “Jugend forscht” (lit. “youth researches”) and the corresponding junior segment “Schüler experimentieren” (lit. “pupils experiment”, since 1969) is of major significance to them – because only with smart heads and new ideas is it possible to create something decisive: innovation.
Since 1978, Lohmann has been sponsoring the competition which was established by Henri Nannen (chief editor of “Stern” magazine) in 1965. The company is hosting the event every two years for the Neuwied region. The chosen winners then enter the next round of competitions on a country and federal level. The topics taken on by the young researchers cover the three scientific categories biology, chemistry as well as geo- and space sciences and are as diverse as interesting every year.
1978, two high schoolers compared the learning performance of rats and hamsters, attesting the latter rodents a lower one. The habits of ravens were scrutinized that same year, too. Ten years later, “Experimental investigations on switching on 100W lightbulbs” were among the winning projects, 2008 it was a submarine run by fuel cells.
In 2020, Lohmann’s new CEO Dr. Jörg Pohlman has taken on the position as sponsor for this competition. Beforehand, he already emphasized his excitement: “I’m looking forward to the fascinating projects of the young – and a bit older – researchers! Supporting young people has been part of our philosophy for more than 40 years. The work done by “Jugend forscht” is an inspiring force for the companies in our region.”
Dr. Carsten Herzhoff, Chief Technology Officer at Lohmann, uttered his amazement about the young talents during the award ceremony 2020 – quote:
According to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: “You do not just discover the truth, you create it”, this year’s regional competition “Jugend forscht” motto was “You Can Do It!”. I was honored and pleased to be part of this event – and impressed: the numerous valuable and thoughtful projects of the young researchers covered the entire collection of curiosities within the STEM disciplines. In combination with the motto, both resonate with the word “doing”: molding, forming, creating, designing, making. Also with achieving, overcoming and mastering, culminating in demanding and making an effort.
In fact, the engaged young talents explained to me how they have been conducting, evaluating and drawing conclusions from their works for many months (up to one year!) with dedication, stringency and “scientific diligence”. I think, keeping in mind the ages of the participants in some instances, this cannot be taken for granted but it is a testimony to intrinsic interest and passion for scientific work and experimenting.
Myself being an engineer through and through and considering this the most amazing job in the world, I am very happy to see the young successors ready to rumble . Judging from the competence witnessed, I am not worried for the future. Youth is engaging, youth is intervening and pointing out. And youth is working energetically on the solutions for current issues: Truth in Engineering! Pleasure in experimentation!
I hope we will continue to be hosting this great event for many years to come, welcoming following generations as guests. No matter if guests or hosts, youth researcher or marveling visitor, we are all aware of the importance and relevance of this competition and hopefully have as much fun on this mission as I had – “We will need all of our strength, we are explorers now!”
Three quick questions for Nicole Otto, Head of the Regional Competition Neuwied / Andernach
Mrs. Otto, since when have you been Head of the Regional “Jugend forscht” Competition Neuwied / Andernach?
For almost five years now! Former Head of the Competition, Dr. Günther Heubgen, was insisting (in a very friendly way of course) I took over his position so I honestly had close to no chance to reply something different than “yes”.
Did you have any connection with the competition beforehand?
Indeed, I had. I had been part of the jury for the segment “Biology” for several years – which was always great fun! Not least because of the great colleagues and the engaged sponsoring companies…
What does “Jugend forscht” mean to you?
This competition has been a renowned event for many years now, enabling children and young people to present their research and its results within a respective framework. I considered this and do consider still as hugely important, especially today when the media is full of reports stating Germany is losing its good researchers and scientists for natural sciences. Inspiring young people for sciences, acknowledging their efforts and honoring them by means award ceremonies is an important task – also and not least in the following years.
71 curious young researchers, 40 exciting projects: According to the motto „You Can Do It!“, “Jugend forscht – Schüler experimentieren” (lit. “Youth Researches – Pupils Experiment”) drew a large crowd to Lohmann’s TEC Center in Neuwied, last Saturday, February 8. Established in 1965 by Henri Nannen (chief editor „Stern“), the competition takes place on a regional, country and federal level in cooperation with various sponsoring companies. For almost 40 years now, Lohmann has been hosting the regional competition, alternating yearly with ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein GmbH, at the respective company sites in Andernach and Neuwied. In 2020, for the first time, Lohmann’s CEO Dr. Jörg Pohlman was patron of the event.
The younger attendees of the junior segment „Pupils Experiment“ (up to 14 years) as well as the older researchers of the category „Youth Researches“ (ages 15-21), examined topics in the fields of biology, geo- and space sciences, physics and chemistry. For example, Pauline Schrank monitored for months the parental bee colony in her garden to evaluate “What are the influences on the flight of bees?” (winner in the category “Biology”, “Pupils Experiment”) while palm-sized hissing cockroaches moved in with Fynn Zimmermann to be scrutinized thoroughly. Apart from real animals, sweet conspecifics were part of research, too: Valentin Loudovici’s sweet tooth led him to a scientific examination of the adhesion of licked gummy bears – to each other, to paper, to glass. Could they be a substitute for regular adhesives? Attentive Bonding Engineers were already scenting innovation for the tape industry… “The gummy bears are not bonding to paper very well. I tested that. In my textbook“, Loudovici dissuades adjusting his spectacles. The winners of „Youth Researches“ category „Biology“, Maaike Bach and Leonie Fabienne Job, did research on edibles as well: Their water capsules, a biodegradable alternative to plastic bottles, impressed the jury. Such pouches made of water, alginate and calcium had been given to the athletes during the 2019 London Marathon, according to a “zero waste” premise. Maaike and Leonie will be continuing experimenting after the competition – they want to equip the capsules with different flavors.
Mingling with cheering teachers, tutors and parents was, apart from Neuwied Mayor Michael Mang, Lohmann’s CTO (Chief Technology Officer) Dr. Carsten Herzhoff. The chemist did not only present the certificates during the award ceremony but was especially thrilled with the spirit of the discovery of the young researches, i.e. the next generation of professionals from the STEM fields.
We wish all the winners the best of luck for the next round in this competition! It will take place from 31.03.-02.04. in Ludwigshafen (Jugend forscht) and from 07.-08.05. Ingelheim (Schüler experimentieren) on country level.
Pauline Schrank, Winner Biology (Pupils Experiment), Dr. Carsten Herzhoff (CTO)
|Vivien Christl, Winner Geo and Space Sciences (Youth Researches)|
|Valentin Loudovici, Second Place Chemistry (Pupils Experiment)|