Opening of the zdi school laboratory Green FabLab: researching the environment and nature on 400 m²

Renewable energies, environmental efficiency and the ecological footprint – no subject has aroused the interest of young people in recent years like this one: sustainability. And that is exactly what the work of the zdi school laboratory “Green FabLab”, which is unique in Germany, is about. Building irrigation systems, testing greenhouses or making seed balls yourself - researchers, schoolchildren, university students and the interested public can now conduct research and experiments in the 400 square meter laboratory. In the Green FabLab, environmental and sustainability issues are combined with digital manufacturing processes of the FabLab movement.

Klaus Kaiser, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Science, is enthusiastic about the concept of the new zdi school laboratory and comments on the importance of resource efficiency and "green" technologies in the field of extracurricular education: "A large number of young people are very interested in this topic of sustainability and is increasingly rethinking his own behavior. This also increases enthusiasm for MINT subjects, because schoolchildren see these subjects as an opportunity to contribute to an ecologically sustainable future. In the Green FabLab, prospective researchers can now gain insights into practice for themselves. The FabLab thus sets a focus that is unique in North Rhine-Westphalia at the interface of technology and sustainability in extracurricular education.”

The Green FabLab from the outside. Photo: Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences / Laura Cosio

The Green FabLab is part of the state-wide community campaign "Future through Innovation", zdi.NRW for short, which promotes young STEM students in North Rhine-Westphalia. "The aim of the work in the new zdi school laboratory is to develop perspectives for our common future in harmony with the natural foundations of life," says Professor Dr. Kai Jörg Tiedemann, Professor of Ecology and Environment at the RheinWaal University of Applied Sciences and head of the Green FabLab. The laboratory is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Green FabLab from the inside. Photo: Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences / Laura Cosio

Following a participatory approach, future work will be carried out in a joint exchange in the "green" FabLab. The laboratory offers users digital workshops and technologies to discuss environmental and resource efficiency problems and to develop solutions for ecological sustainability. "With the Green FabLab, the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is once again setting an example for innovation and combines research and practice in an outstanding way," emphasizes University President Dr. Oliver Locker-Grütjen.

With this in mind, the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences would also like to create a forum to intensify cooperation with local companies and thus jointly maintain the region's ability to innovate.

During the state horticultural show in Kamp-Lintfort until October 11, 2020, the university offers workshops, seminars and open lectures in the Green FabLab and invites interested visitors to become active and creative themselves on a 2.500 square meter area with experimental areas and project workshops . You can find more information here.

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