Junior Uni Essen goes to the International Space Station – a space minicomputer

Young researchers and dr. Kimmeskamp with microcomputers (Photo: Sylvia Schemmann/ZLB)

Essen. Imagine something you created flies in space! This dream can come true for nine young researchers. In cooperation with the computer scientist d. Thorsten Kimmeskamp of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) will give an exciting experience to the “Calliope mini”, a small computer that will fly to the ISS in December. ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer is already waiting there for a “digital coworker”.

“I read about it on the internet, but I never thought we could get involved!” Said student. This is made possible by the UDE Center for Teacher Education and Junior Uni Essen for children and adolescents, who want to foster young talent and give everyone access to an education.

Be as curious as you want to! – It’s the motto. This is just as true for girls and boys aged 12-14 who deal with UDE on a Wednesday afternoon. Thorsten Kimmeskamp describes young people as energetic and curious. “The most beautiful moment is when you notice: Yes, it works.”

Using the microcomputer, participants can recreate familiar objects from everyday life, such as a pedometer or a disco ball, or even come up with something new. It has a brightness sensor, position, compass, thermometer, LED color, microphone, speaker, small screen and radio.

“With a special website we can tell Calliope what to do with it. Students don’t have to master a programming language yet, but they get to know the basics,” explains the computer scientist. The goal of the ISS experiment is to turn the “miniature” into a “weightlessness detector”.

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In the quickly booked course, the young people did not know in advance that of all people they would have the opportunity to take part in the campaign – Dr. Kimmeskamp found out about the competition only after the first course planning, organized everything and was surprised by it in the first lesson. Now the enthusiasm is greater. “Something like this only happens once in a lifetime!” So said Talib Saeed.

Frank Mccarthy

<p class="sign">"Certified gamer. Problem solver. Internet enthusiast. Twitter scholar. Infuriatingly humble alcohol geek. Tv guru."</p>

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