At Girls’ Day 2022, the University of Kassel and KORU got together to inspire young girls to pursue their technical and entrepreneurial dreams.
Girls’ Day is the world's largest career orientation event that promotes the idea of choosing a career and studying free of role stereotypes. Until today, over 8.000 companies and institutions have participated in Girls’ Day, which is a nationwide project for career and study orientation for girls in Germany.
Companies and Universities throughout Germany open their doors to female students on Girls' Day to introduce them to laboratories and careers in IT, crafts, natural sciences, and technology.
On top of that, there’re several panels where female leaders and role models in management positions in business and politics talk to inspire the younger generations to be more independent and open-minded. Girls' Day – 'Future Prospects for Girls' is funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth.
The Joint Development of Koru
The University of Kassel has participated in Girls’ Day for many years and every year a variety of events and presentations are organized in several natural sciences and technology areas. At the 2022 edition, Dipl.-Ing. Christian Skaley (University of Kassel) and Friedrich Eickhoff (CEO at Botany Labs) presented for the second year in a row the joint project KORU to inspire girls with a real-life case of applied mechanical engineering, and show what kind of projects an engineering degree can have you work at.
In total, five different departments of the University of Kassel participated in this edition of Girls' Day and the partnership over the project Koru with Botany Labs took place in cooperation with the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
“KORU is the first product developed by Botany Labs S.L., an green-tech hardware development startup from Barcelona. KORU is an innovative air purifier combining the natural air filtration properties of plants’ roots with a high-end, sustainable, nano-coated ceramic filter. As the plant is part of the air purification process, they also developed a unique plant monitoring and self-watering system.” Remarked Dr. Skaley.
During the event and the presentation, the girls learned which specific know-how, tools, and subjects (e.g., CAD, technical mechanics, physics, math, constructions technique, fluid mechanics, etc.) were necessary to develop KORU. After a very interesting “guessing game” in which the girls were getting into the details of the product, Dr. Skaley proceeded to define how mechanical engineering is structured, followed by an engaging live CAD demonstration.
During the life CAD demo, the team designed a pencil and showed the complexity of KORU and what tools for injection molding look like.
Christian Skaley and Friedrich Eickhoff presented the evolution of KORU to the girls through its different CAD iterations, shared insights, and were overwhelmed by their passion for technology and engineering.
“So often in life we are not aware of what surrounds us, and we are not questioning where things are coming from. However, literally every product we have at home requires some sort of technical drawing, which is an essential part of mechanical engineering.” Continued Dr. Skaley “The scope and importance of technical studies maybe doesn’t sound so important, but anyone who is fascinated by how things are made should pursue this passion. In today’s world, there cannot be great things – planes, ships, cars, toasters, etc. – without great engineers.”.
A Final Thought
As a personal note, we were absolutely amazed to see how these super young, brilliant girls were so interested in engineering and STEM disciplines.
The two hours session was engaging, which is not necessarily a given with such a young audience, and the girls were fully invested in digging into the technology behind KORU. One of the things that impressed us the most was their already mature understanding of the importance of being curious, investigative, and determined.
Being invited to participate in Girl’s Day for the second year was for us an honor, and we are already strengthening our future collaborations with the University of Kassel.
We both believe in a world where opportunities are not defined by anything other than a someone’s ability, passion, and determination; and having the chance to talk with such a great audience about the importance of these values is what inspires us to pursue them every day.