News | Education 02.10.2013

“Full speed ahead!” Student competition alumni camp in Münster

The winner was the aircraft carrier Bounty, which had a runway for small airplanes to take off.

The Siemens Stiftung student competition in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics held its fourth alumni camp from September 27 to 29 in Münster. Twenty-six young men and women, former participants from 2007 to 2013, spent a weekend together getting to know one another, collaborating on a project, and honing their team skills.

The 2013 camp focused on project management. Tobias Nowak from the Career Service Center at the University of Münster introduced the theoretical principles before turning directly to the practical task at hand: working as a team to construct a watertight boat. The groups applied the theory they had just studied by drafting project plans, conducting analyses, preparing presentations, and writing their final reports.

The teams were a colorful mix, with one student from the 2013 competition working in a group alongside two mechanical engineering students, a geography major, and a doctoral candidate in psychology who had taken part in the 2007 competition. Everyone contributed his or her particular skill: Some focused on calculating centers of gravity and drafting blueprints, others conducted the initial field tests, while still others worked closely with the first two groups on design aspects and the presentation. Everyone worked together to tackle the unique challenges, resulting in five creative boat designs.

“It was precisely this mix that made it so exciting,” emphasizes Franz Radke, one of the mechanical engineering students. “The hours spent in the workshop breathing in sawdust were the most fun. Everyone was really happy to be working on this type of project.” His assessment: “We worked together really well, even though most of us had never met before. We made some really cool stuff in the little time we had.” In the end, all the boats passed the field test on Münster’s Aasee lake with flying colors.

In addition to working on the projects, the participants also had lots of time to chat and network. Franz Radke, who was attending his third alumni camp, sees this as a big plus: “The camp gives us the opportunity to meet participants from the other semi-final rounds. You meet so many really interesting people.” Anna Nyfeler from Zurich adds: “Even though we’re all following different paths, we share an interest in a sustainable world with optimized technology, and we also share the same problem-solving approach.”

The Siemens Stiftung hosts the alumni camp to foster networking opportunities between former student competition winners. The aim is to give alumni the opportunity to get to know one another better, make contacts, and share ideas. A Facebook fan page serves as one platform for sharing information and networking. The fourth alumni camp followed on the success of last year’s meeting in Heidelberg.


About the Siemens Stiftung

ENCOURAGE. empowering people. The Siemens Stiftung wants to empower people to actively address today’s social challenges. Together with partners, the foundation designs and implements local and international projects with the aim of promoting individual responsibility and self-initiative. The foundation is committed to enlarging basic services and social entrepreneurship, promoting education and strengthening culture. The Siemens Stiftung pursues an integrative approach and stands for responsible, impact-oriented and innovative project work.