Can we come to BSF after the Polytechnic?



1 Fund for teaching and school development (IMST fund) S 6 Application orientation and vocational training HOW FAR SHOULD ELECTRICAL TECHNOLOGY GO AT THE POLYTECHNICAL SCHOOL? ID 552 Reinhard Strobl Michaela Weiß Polytechnic School Kufstein Kufstein, June, 2007

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS ... 2 ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION The polytechnic school A new department of mechatronics TASKS / PLANS Definition of the project Project goals Project contents METHODS / EXECUTION RESULTS DISCUSSION / INTERPRETATION / OUTLOOK in the appendix of the polytechnic evaluation of the polytechnic evaluation school Kufstein. Page 2

3 ABSTRACT The Mechatronics department has been offered at the Kufstein Polytechnic since the 2005/06 school year. This takes account of changes in the economy. In order to be able to continue teaching in a timely manner and to be able to prepare our students as well as possible for entry into professional life, this year we attempted to have subjects and teaching content examined by training companies in the region and the Tyrolean vocational school for electrical engineering, communication and electronics. The aim was to determine how far the Polytechnic School Kufstein should / can prepare its students in the field of mechatronics, and in particular in electrical engineering. The results were recorded and should subsequently be discussed and coordinated with other PTS. In addition, the possibilities and limits of cooperation between schools and business should be shown. School level: 9th subjects: Mechatronics department Contact person: Reinhard Strobl Contact address: Polytechnische Schule Kufstein, Frauenfelderstr. 5, 6330 Kufstein address: page 3

4 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 The polytechnic school The one-year polytechnic school is primarily used as the 9th grade by those 14 to 15 year old students who want to learn a trade immediately after compulsory schooling. In addition to compulsory subjects (German, mathematics, English,) our young people are also taught in specialist areas (13 WS). In Kufstein we offer trade & office, services, tourism, metal, electronics, information technology, wood, construction and mechatronics A new subject area mechatronics The meaning and purpose of the polytechnic school is to give young people who want to take up an apprenticeship a job as good as possible prepare special areas of interest and promote and consolidate their skills and abilities. Since the demands of the economy on employees are constantly changing, the Polytechnic School must also react to this. MECHATRONICS reflects the technical development in the fields of mechanics and electronics. This connection is supplemented by the inclusion of IT skills. In order to continue to prepare our young people for the professional world in a contemporary and efficient manner, we would like to accept the new requirements as a challenge and therefore we have been offering a special MECHATRONICS department since the 2005/06 school year. As part of the development of the department, particular value was placed on striving for close cooperation with business and especially with local companies. One measure was to write to regional companies and present our plan to them. They received a CD-Rom with information. Then they were asked to give us feedback. The evaluation of the feedback (feedback rate of 56%) showed an extremely positive picture. We plan to work closely with companies in the future as well. It's not just about receiving financial support, but also inviting skilled workers from the individual companies to work with the students at our school as part of "human sponsoring". page 4

5 2 TASKS / PLANS 2.1 Definition of the project When the mechatronics department was set up, it was particularly important for the teachers at the Polytechnic School in Kufstein to involve teaching companies from the region. An attempt was made to meet the requirements of the economy as adequately as possible. The aim was to convey new teaching content using modern teaching materials and methods. The concept drawn up with the training companies has now been implemented at our school for two school years, and we therefore saw it as our task this year to have the mechatronics department examined by other training companies and the vocational school for electrical engineering, communication and electronics. We wanted to find out what is going well and what is not going well, what course content is important or less important and what difficulties young people starting their careers have besides technical skills. Which key qualifications still need to be trained better? Project goals The department is to be examined by training companies (training managers) and vocational schools. Opportunities for cooperation between schools and businesses are to be developed and evaluated. Standards in the respective subjects should be defined (for us). A modern and practical basic vocational training in electrical engineering should take place. The PTS should respond to changes in the requirements of the economy with new technologies and teaching content. page 5

6 2.1.2 Project content Our project was divided into two parts: In this school year, the work in the department should be evaluated by the economy and the relevant Tyrolean vocational school. We wanted to find out what was already going well and where improvements were needed. It was necessary to determine how far the Polytechnic School Kufstein should / can prepare its students in the field of mechatronics, and in particular in electrical engineering. The results were recorded and are to be discussed with other polytechnic schools and coordinated. In addition, the possibilities and limits of cooperation between school and business should be shown: Using Siemens LOGO modules that are used in electrical installation, an exemplary cooperation between school and business should be documented. With the help of the Siemens LOGO module (left), simple and complex circuits can be implemented. The necessary switching programs (right) can be created using special software on the PC or directly on the module. Possible uses are transport facilities in factories, house and building technology (lighting control, door / gate control), heating / ventilation / air conditioning, machine control, etc. Page 6

7 3 METHODS / IMPLEMENTATION For us, the work on the project did not concentrate on a few weeks or months, but was part of the annual planning in the subject Applied Computer Science. The two teachers Michaela Weiß and Reinhard Strobl and all 30 students from the Mechatronics Department were involved in the project. For the final event, which also included the examination of the course content, 15 students took part and demonstrated their skills. Since the procedures differed due to the two project contents (investigation of the department or Siemens logo), both will be dealt with one after the other in the following. Investigation of the mechatronics department As early as autumn 2006, discussions with trainers on the subject began during the first practical days . These informal meetings gave us the opportunity to ask about the experiences of companies with school leavers from the Mechatronics department in 2005/06. The procedure was repeated during the second practical week in February 2007 and we also had to win over companies for our project. A further step was to examine the various subjects and contents in more detail and to create a detailed questionnaire for each subject so that companies or vocational schools could fill them out later. In February 2007, the teachers responsible for the project had the opportunity to present the development of the mechatronics department to the director of the Tyrolean vocational school for electrical engineering, communication and electronics, Dir. Mag. Ing. Wolfgang Steinlechner, and then to discuss it. Further support and a willingness to cooperate were assured. Companies from the region and the director of the TFBS for electrical engineering, communication and electronics were invited under the title Looking back and looking ahead. The visitors were able to convince themselves of the skills of the students in the mechatronics group. Teaching content was presented on the basis of different stations and highlights of the previous school year were recalled. After the student demonstrations, the teachers had time to talk to the students personally. Another item on the agenda of the event was the completion of questionnaires. The participants should give their opinion on the subject area mechatronics and the teaching content to be conveyed. The conclusion was an open discussion between the polytechnic school, vocational school, business and AMS on the subject of What do young professionals have difficulties with? Page 7

8 3.1.2 Siemens LOGO The implementation of this project focus can be traced in six steps. 1. Contacting companies It was important to us to clarify with companies in advance whether there was any need to use Siemens LOGO modules in the classroom. After the decision was made, we started thinking about a possible implementation. 2. Planning and construction of experimental panels Thanks to support from the MNI fund, a set of 5 Siemens LOGO programming modules could be purchased. The necessary control software and the PC / LOGO transmission cable were also included. Under the guidance and advice of an electrical engineer, the teachers planned and built 5 experiment boards (see appendix). This enabled the students to learn and practice the basic functions of the Siemens LOGO programming module later in class. 3. Training the team of teachers We teachers also had to familiarize ourselves with the new technology. This was done with the help of literature, self-study and discussions with trainers. One-day seminar The previous knowledge acquired could be deepened in a seminar. In cooperation with Siemens, Mr. Wilhelm Kufner, apprentice trainer at Siemens Vienna, came to Kufstein to try to get started with Siemens LOGO with interested teachers, also from other polytechnic schools in Tyrol. 5. Implementation in the classroom In May 2007, the students in the Mechatronics Department were familiarized with the topic of automation with Siemens LOGO. In teams of two, new knowledge was imparted both theoretically and practically. With the help of the experiment boards made for this purpose, the young people learned the basic functions of the programming module. The circuit diagrams required for this were created and simulated beforehand using the LOGO Teach control software. The students showed great interest. Feedback from the group was determined using the target method (see appendix). 6. Presentation During the review of the year on June 19, 2007, the students created circuits with Siemens LOGO. The guests present showed great interest in the self-programmed traffic light control. page 8

9 4 RESULTS The project results relate in particular to the evaluation of the questionnaires that were filled out at the retrospective and foresighted annual review of the Mechatronics Department at the Polytechnic School in Kufstein. 12 questionnaires were evaluated. A detailed record of the results can be found in the appendix, the most important findings for us are listed here: The majority of the respondents (9/12) stated that they consider it necessary to offer a specialist area of ​​mechatronics. It turned out that all respondents are very or satisfied with the teaching content. After attending the information event, nobody raised concerns about the quality of the mechatronics department. The cooperation between business and the Polytechnic School Kufstein is described as very good (12/12). Cooperation between business and school (in general) is considered necessary (11/12) or sensible (1/12). All companies showed willingness to support the mechatronics department. The offer ranges from class visits (5) and training for teaching staff (7) to financial support (3) or the provision of tools and machines (3). Particularly popular forms of support are invitations to company visits (10) and the admission of schoolchildren as part of the practical training days (11). Eight respondents stated that they would see an increased need for apprentices in technical professions in the next few years. All companies already have experience with former PTS Kufstein students. For the most part, these experiences have been positive. Following the survey using a questionnaire, there was an open exchange of experiences between teachers from the Polytechnic School Kufstein and apprentice trainers Director of the TFBS for electrical engineering, communication and electronics on the subject: What do young people starting their careers have difficulties with? instead of. Page 9

10 In principle, the Polytechnic School received a very good certificate. The following points were criticized: Lack of polite manners Poor general knowledge Punctuality and reliability Lack of personal responsibility Apprentices are always on hold when they are not employed, everything has to be told to them. Difficulty with basic math. Not only is the calculation wrong, the result is not questioned either. Zero-minded attitude and no interest beyond what is absolutely necessary. The suggestion was to get more girls interested in technology. Allow the career orientation phase to last as long as possible in order to be able to better support the young people in choosing a career. To provide a broader basic education at the polytechnic school, away from specialist knowledge! Less is more Teaching, consolidating and practicing basic skills should be the top priority. It should be avoided to manufacture electrical extension cables and the like with the students in workshop lessons. Even with frequent admonitions and warnings, the risk of putting what you have learned into practice at home is too great! Page 10

11 5 DISCUSSION / INTERPRETATION / OUTLOOK The project managers at the Polytechnic School in Kufstein consider the project to have been successfully completed. It was possible to win over companies and vocational schools for the interests of the Polytechnic School Kufstein. The evaluation of the feedback shows that the local economy is satisfied with our work. However, we do not want to rest on that; we will proceed to implement the proposed inputs quickly. This means in particular to further deepen the cooperation between schools and businesses. The offer to bring teachers into the classroom or to outsource parts of the class is to be implemented as early as next year. The holding of advanced training courses for teachers in the field of mechatronics is also seen as a positive development. Further seminars are to follow in autumn. For the future, there are also plans to seek long-term cooperation between companies, the vocational school and the Kufstein Polytechnic. In a mechatronics support pool, the specialist knowledge of the trainers, the experience of apprentices, financial resources to improve the equipment and didactic know-how of the teachers are to be bundled in order to maintain or increase the quality of the teaching. Through the use of modern teaching aids (Siemens LOGO), the pupils became interested in technology. They responded to teacher input with the desire to acquire further knowledge about it independently. It was a pleasure to watch them learn, understand and pass on content to their classmates. They were rightly proud of their achievements. A follow-up project was submitted to the IMST Fund for the 2007/08 school year. Both project contents, cooperation between school and business and SIEMENS LOGO, will play a role again. Page 11

12 6 LITERATURE HOPFGARTNER, G, NESSMANN, K .: Public Relations for Schools. This is how successful public relations work, ÖBV & HPT, Vienna REISCH, R, LOUCKY-REISNER, B, SCHWARZ, G .: Marketing for schools. This is how successful positioning succeeds, ÖBV & HPT, Vienna BLAICHINGER, N .: The best tips and tricks for school public relations, a manual for daily practice, self-published, Zall am Moos. PHILIPP, E., ROLFF H.G .: Developing school programs and models. A workbook, Beltz Pedagogy, Weinheim and Basel SCHUBERT, G .: Concrete school development. Project-Organize-Practice. Beltz Praxis, Weinheim and Basel BÖTTCHER, W., PHILIPP, E. (Eds.): Developing lessons and schools with students, Beltz Praxis, Weinheim and Basel RAUCH, F., SENGER, H: School development in upheaval: Lessons are moving in the center, self-published, Klagenfurt PAFFE, M .: automation technology. Control with the Siemens LOGO. Basic course, Christiani, Duderstadt STIEGLER, J: LOGO makes school, project report IMST 3, Vienna Polytechnic School, 2005/06. page 12

13 APPENDIX Illustration of a student experiment board page 13