MINT and gaming go together perfectly: zdi.NRW at Gamescom 2023

From August 23rd to 27th, the largest gaming fair in the world, Gamescom, took place in Cologne. zdi.NRW was represented with its own stand in the Gamescom campus area and was able to show how much STEM is in gaming.

The photo shows the employees of zdi.NRW who looked after the stand at Gamescom on Saturday, August 26th. From left to right you can see: Björn Hollburg from the zdi center Mönchengladbach, Sabrina Götz, Isabell Stollenwerk and Gwendolyn Paul from the zdi-LGS, Elena from the zdi youth advisory board and Fabio Mancarella from the zdi-LGS.
The zdi Gamescom team from August 26 (from left to right): Björn Hollburg from the zdi center in Mönchengladbach, Sabrina Götz, Isabell Stollenwerk and Gwendolyn Paul from the zdi LGS, Elena from the zdi youth advisory board and Fabio Mancarella from the zdi LGS.

What is zdi and what do we do anyway? These and similar questions were primarily answered by the adults who stopped by the stand. In this way, many parents were inspired by the zdi community's extensive range of STEM educational programs.

In addition, a MINT quiz was held four times a day, in which Raspberry Pico Pis were up for grabs, but many just wanted to take part for fun. The trade fair visitors also had the opportunity to zdi community platform go on a scavenger hunt to earn a Gamescom badge.

The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. In the foreground is a sticker that says "Nice here. But do you already know the zdi community platform?" stands and a description of the scavenger hunt. In the background you can see a screen that says "Making STEM together" and two buzzers on a bar table.

zdi community shows presence at Gamescom

Several zdi networks and zdi student laboratories were also represented at the stand and were able to present their wide range:

The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. In the foreground, a man is explaining VR glasses to another, in the background a woman is sitting at a laptop. "Do STEM together" is written on a large screen.

zdi-Schüler:innenlabor "Energy transition makes school"

The zdi-Schüler:innenlabor "Energy transition makes school" was at the start with its VR glasses and thus brought the trade fair visitors closer to topics such as: future energy supply, ecological balance and CO2 footprint, power of the sun or energetic use of biomass.

The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. Several people are standing at the stand and looking at the robot Pepper, which is standing in front of the stand.

zdi center BeST Wuppertal

The zdi center BeST had brought a very special guest to Gamescom: The visitors to the stand had the opportunity to get to know the robot Pepper and were even able to build mini robots themselves.

The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. A man is explaining something to three boys, on a table between them are a milling machine and a lightsaber.

zdi center Mönchengladbach

The zdi center Mönchengladbach not only had information about their courses on lightsaber construction with them. The trade fair visitors were also able to marvel at such a lightsaber itself. In addition, wooden keyrings could be given their own design with the laser cutter.

Robots were well received

A special highlight was the little robot Otto, which the zdi center in Mönchengladbach brought to Gamescom.

“You can really make a robot like that yourself with a 3D printer? I want that, too. I'll see what the zdi network has to offer near me!" said a student who had watched Otto enthusiastically at the zdi stand. 

zdi youth advisory board reports live

Also the zdi youth advisory board was at Gamescom and reported live about Instagram from what is happening at the fair. Here are the Instagram story highlights of the youth advisory board members: To the highlights!

Elena from the youth advisory board visited Gamescom on Saturday:

The photo shows Elena from the zdi youth advisory board at the zdi stand at Gamescom. She holds a glowing purple lightsaber in her hands.

First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I'm Elena, 15 years old and very interested in STEM subjects. This year was my first time at Gamescom. As always, this took place in Cologne. I was at the zdi.NRW stand on Saturday and was also able to look at the various stands and areas of the fair.

I particularly liked the retro area, where there were lots of old games. I tried a few myself and was immediately impressed.

I also found the ESA stand interesting, where you could watch a moon walk or the ISS. The lunar walk and the tour of the ISS were conducted using 3D glasses. For me personally, this was one of the highlights of the day, since I've been a big space fan since I was little.

The photo shows Elena from the zdi youth advisory board on a virtual moonwalk at the easa stand at Gamescom.
The photo shows a round wooden keychain with zdi written on it.

At the zdi.NRW stand on Saturday, key fobs could be made using a laser cutter. I myself had one made directly with zdi. Another big highlight at the zdi stand was the laser sword. The lightsaber took me back to my childhood for a moment.

Like every day, there were 4 MINT quizzes spread throughout the day on Saturday. You could win a Raspberry Pi with a matching book. A unique experience for me was also doing the Quizmaster. I had a lot of fun with this.

I was particularly impressed by “Otto”. He is a little robot that looked very cute.

All in all, this Gamescom was a unique event for me, which I would like to repeat again. I would recommend this event to everyone!

The photo shows the little robot Otto at the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom.

Patrick from the youth advisory board reports on his impressions:

The photo shows youth council member Patrick together with two young people taking part in the MINT quiz at the zdi booth at Gamescom.
Youth advisory board member Patrick (left) at the MINT quiz with two trade fair visitors.

“The #GC23 was phenomenal. And I not only had the incredible opportunity to advertise our network at the zdi stand and moderate MINT quizzes every few hours. My strategy today was quantity over quality, and for once it was worth it. From rousing Guitar Hero concerts, a real guitarist performing game music, to the Dance Dance Revolution booth, I was definitely able to experience this Gamescom from its musical character. The pulse of gaming culture and sporting competition was particularly evident in the event hall, which featured everything from Rocket League duels to the legendary Rewe shopping cart competition.

Numerous VR attractions and simulators added extra speed to my steps as I watched. So I was able to find my personal highlight in an inconspicuous place: a Japanese artist who, according to my commission, was able to paint a philosophical picture of man's greatest good - knowledge. I ended the day with a literal victory when I had to read lips with a noise-cancelling headset. With the XXL mouse pad I won, I was definitely able to end the day satisfied. Gamescom was definitely an exciting adventure in which, above all, my enthusiasm for technology, muses and ultimately the human connection to the digital world deepened.”

Anna-Marie from the youth council attended the fair on Sunday and writes:

In the morning I traveled by train, the train was not overcrowded with Gamescom visitors as announced, but filled normally. When I arrived at the train station, I didn't know exactly where the exhibition halls were. However, a lot of people were walking in one direction and I joined the line and sure enough, all these people were going to Gamescom in a long line. People were standing left and right handing out free drinks to the visitors to the fair. I ignored them and quickly walked to the entrance. However, the path to the entrance meandered across and under the site (under bridges). Then I got to a spot where the age verification bracelets were being handed out, quickly lined up and snapped the bracelet on my wrist. A great memory of Gamescom.
Then I quickly went to the zdi stand; it was still relatively empty in the halls, which changed drastically over the course of the day. I was one of the first to enter the exhibition grounds that day.

The photo shows a hand showing a thumbs up with a red Gamescom bracelet on the wrist.
The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. A sign above the stand reads "gamescom campus universities". There is a crowd of people of different ages around the stand.
The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. Two men and two boys take part in the STEM quiz.
The photo shows the zdi.NRW stand at Gamescom. Four boys take part in the STEM quiz.

The zdi booth showed how a 3D printer works and we printed a gaming controller holder as a 2nd prize for the quiz participants. We also explained to interested parties more about the zdi community platform and the zdi network's free programming workshops. Parents and students were thrilled.

Arrived in the magic halls, I saw big screens everywhere, where the trailers of different games were shown, or the live battles of eg races were shown. I decided to take part in a car race as well. As I was playing, I suddenly noticed that the chair was vibrating as I accelerated and made other movements to match my plays. When I was finished, I queued at another booth, but the wait was too long and I decided to stroll around the grounds and watch other fair visitors play. There were large, inflated sculptures of a wide variety of characters, most of which you could also take photos of. I ventured in front of a fire breathing dragon and took beautiful photos. Then I found a stand with musical instruments. There were electric guitars, pianos and drums. I decided to try the electric guitar and it didn't even sound that bad.

Gamescom is a huge event and well worth checking out.

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