Anything but boring! The IdeenExpo – Europe’s largest natural science and technology event for young people – attracts more than 300,000 visitors every two years. Volkswagen will showcase some unbelievable exhibits that will entice people to climb in and take part!
We still have a few weeks to go before the IdeenExpo in Hannover opens its doors – but one highlight of Germany’s largest natural science and technology event for young people is already raring to go: Volkswagen exhibits. These display items will include one very special example of the Golf¹ – or, rather, what is left of it.
Turning the hidden into the visible
“We built a transparent car,” says Justin Pausch, who is in his third year of an automotive mechatronic trainee program at Volkswagen in Wolfsburg and who built the exhibit along with his colleagues. “We laid bare all of the onboard power electronic systems – every cable, every motor, every knob. The trappings are gone, and everything works, even without the missing body parts.” The result looks like something from the future, and it’s name sounds futuristic as well: eGon.
Visitors to the IdeenExpo will be the first people who will be able to take a close look at eGon. They will immediately see just how complex the normally hidden electronic systems really are and how all components are connected to one another. “My training colleagues and I are really looking forward to showing off our vehicle at the IdeenExpo,” Justin Pausch says. “It is really a great feeling to imagine a young visitor to the exhibition climbing into our e-Golf, working the electric windows and seeing where the power flows and what happens.”
Tobias Dieninghoff of Occupational Training, Total Vehicle, Vehicle Technology E.Lab adds: “The slogan of the IdeenExpo is ‘Give it a try.’ “Our trainees really took this idea to heart when they built this exhibit. And they didn’t ease up – even when things got tricky and tough.” Dieninghoff is proud of his young colleagues, and he has every right to be. You need a good head on your shoulders and perseverance to work intensely in a team for several months on a project that had never been done before. The core team consisted of eight trainees, four automotive mechatronic technicians and four design mechatronic technicians. They were supported by trainees from the paint and interior departments.
Less is more – and one more to gain a better understanding
The planning began in November 2018, and the work on the vehicle started in December. “We started with a fully intact e-Golf and took everything out,” Justin Pausch says. “The vehicle was completely gutted. We then built our exhibit on a new underbody panel with the parts from the dismantled e-Golf.” The finished exhibit can even be driven, even though the drive system was changed for safety reasons. “This change will enable visitors to the IdeenExpo to gain insights into the 400 volt components,” trainer Tobias Dieninghoff says. Over the long term, many more people will marvel at this e-Golf – and learn from it: “We will use our exhibit as part of our automotive mechatronic training program, It is a teaching device that we built ourselves.”
The exhibits are the stars of the IdeenExpo in Hannover
Learning, understanding, touching and participating – Volkswagen’s booth at the IdeenExpo will be broken down into 25 smaller areas. “You will need a few hours to try everything here,” says Jessica Helios, who is about to complete her office management training program at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in Hannover. Helios and her trainee colleague Ebru Aydin will serve as event managers at the IdeenExpo: They know what visitors should check out at the Volkswagen booth. Visitors will have an opportunity to play an active role and try out things in a number of areas in the booth.
“My favorite is the Bug Area,” Aydin says. “Visitors will build small robots here – from things like toothbrushes, cardboard and clothes pins. You just can’t miss that! The best part: You’ll be able to take these pieces of art home with you, as a souvenir from the IdeenExpo and the Volkswagen booth.” Visitors will also be able to playfully explore the digitalization of production in an augmented reality rally in which they will manage the production of a vehicle themselves. And, last but not least, the trade fair will take to the air! As Jessica Helios explains, “In the Drive & Fly Area, visitors can drive small vehicles and fly drones. One special feature of the drones will be the first-person-view headset that they can use to experience a flight from the drone’s perspective.”
The concept of the booth extends beyond action: Anyone who spends a lot of time learning will also need to relax. “Anybody who wants to take a break can head to the Chill Area and reflect on what they have learned,” Jessica Helios says.
This is the IdeenExpo
The IdeenExpo is Europe’s largest natural science and technology event for young people and is held every two years in Hannover. The trade fair offers some practical occupational orientation – insiders call it the “world’s largest classroom.” The concept is special: Companies can get young people excited about their industry and attract attention to themselves. Nine days long – among equals and in a unique, exciting atmosphere. The heart of the IdeenExpo is the more than 650 hands-on scientific-technical exhibits that promote learning with all senses. The event also includes live experiments, stage shows and workshops.
When? The seventh IdeenExpo will be held from June 15-23, 2019.
Where? Messegelände Hannover
¹Power consumption, kWh/100 km: (combined) 14.1 (17 inch) – 13.2 (16 inch); CO₂ emissions (combined), g/km: 0; efficiency class: A+