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Interactive experience TECHville at Genk education campus has young people discover their tech talents

2020-02-20

What does a future-proof city look like? How will we live there? And what will be the impact of technology? In the new interactive experience TECHville at T2 campus in Genk, Belgium young people will work together on a smart city of the future in a gaming format. Meanwhile, they’ll be tapping into their own talents and TECH skills.

SMART CITY

TECHville stimulates the creativity of young people (10 - 18 years old) in a world that refers to the modern technology industry. Urban sounds and glowing lights set the scene. In the centre of the space, an abstracted metropolis emerges from an otherwise white, multifunctional landscape. Five lab islands around it bear the names of inspiring pioneers and inventors in energy, materials, electro, and ICT. Digital interactive screens and physical technical tools suggest the need for experimentation and innovation.   

In these surroundings, a message from the mayor invites the students to transform the miniature city into a metropolis of the future, a smart city. Urgent issues such as traffic flow and better use of sustainable energy and materials need to be addressed, as the city will soon celebrate its jubilee and a grand festival awaits. In teams, the students get to work on SMART solutions such as programming traffic lights, testing windmills, equipping a dance floor with kinetic tiles, and setting up an alarm system for care homes. The ideas they develop are uploaded and tested in the city straight away.   

The students receive visual feedback on the solutions they have devised and see how these solutions affect each other. Traffic starts to flow, power supplies are spread more evenly across the city, and its districts come to life. In the process, the players will discover that cooperation is key. And that technology is inspiring! Meanwhile, a large barometer reflects the city's health. Once the meter turns to green, the city is healthy, and the festival of the future can begin.  

STEAM

TECHville fits in with the concept of STEAM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), which is the focus of the T2 education campus in Genk. 21st-century skills such as analysing, prototyping, creative thinking, and making connections are more important than reproducing ready-made solutions. The interactive experience is the latest innovation at the 24,000 m2 technology campus in the Thor park, a former mining site that is being redeveloped into a technology and energy hotspot.