What we do and why

The common aim of the members of the non-profit organization HANDS on TECHNOLOGY is to inspire young people early for science and technology and take away their fear of contact with complex technology. They should learn to tackle challenges creatively with fantasy and build a positive attitude to science and technology with team spirit.

We organize various international educational programs to help young people to get access to scientific subjects and to motivate them in a early phase of their educational lives to become future engineers or IT professionals:

The STEM programs FLL Jr., FLL, RCJ combine the fun and excitement of a sports event with the tricky challenge to build design and programm a robot out of the LEGO Mindstorms system.

Children and young people have the opportunity to use these challenging robot competitions and gain valuable practical experience in working with complex technologies, they can improve their problem solving abilities and all that with a lot of fun and creativity in their peer group!

What impact does our work have

We are involved in technical education and the promotion of science and technology for youngsters because there may be a lack of about 500,000 professionals in the area of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in 2020 in the EU.* Another research conducted by german federations of employers like 'BDA', 'BDI', 'Gesamtmetall' and 'MINT Zukunft schaffen' has shown that in 2016 there was a lack of over 170.000 skilled workers in the STEM area in Germany. 25% more than 2015, 70% more than in early 2014.**

Professional orientation starts in Kindergarten today and the non-profit HANDS on TECHNOLOGY e.V. and it´s educational programs facilitate kids and youngsters 21st century key skills on an early stage. We would like to encourage the participants to start a vocational training or studies in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

Our programs strengthen digital competences and train social skills at the same time like teamwork, focussing on solutions and presentation skills. The teams learn to think and work like real engineers and scientists, which may give them orientation for their professional career.

From own research and regular talks to experienced coaches sending teams to the competition we have learned that our programs work and have an impact. Not all participants become engineers or scientists but the competition helps with career planning. Around 70% of the participants responding on our enquiry (running research among yearlong participants) told us that a program like FIRST LEGO League made them be confident to start a career or studies in STEM. Special skills the competition trains are: teamwork, logical thinking, programming, creativity & improvisation, persistance while solving problems, presentation and communication skills, approaching & solving unkown problems (especially in programming and interpersonell conflicts) and openness & selfconfidence.

*Hüsing, Tobias; Dashja, Eriona (2017): Innovation Leadership Skills for the High-Tech Economy: Demand, Supply and Forecasting, Presentation on the High-Tech and Leadership Skills, 26th January, 2017. URL: http://leadership2017.eu/fileadmin/scale_conference/documents/huesing_20170126.pdf

** MINT Zukunft schaffen (2016): MINT-Lücke seit Anfang 2014 um 70 Prozent gestiegen: vor allem Facharbeiter gefragt. URL: http://www.mintzukunftschaffen.de/news.html?&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=1621&cHash=f772a493a3c0b2a4a412bf7ef1c5b378

** Bundesagentur für Arbeit (2016): Blickpunkt Arbeitsmarkt: Fachkräfteengpassanalyse. URL: https://statistik.arbeitsagentur.de/Statischer-Content/Arbeitsmarktberichte/Fachkraeftebedarf-Stellen/Fachkraefte/BA-FK-Engpassanalyse-2016-12.pdf

 

Our non-profit association was founded in 2002. Since than we have reached a lot and organized many projects. Our yearly reports (only available in German, PDF list below) show what we have done in each year and how the projects developped.