New technologies in school education: KUKA robot cells at the Göppingen Vocational School
A modern learning laboratory with six robot training cells from KUKA prepares students at the Gewerbliche Schule Göppingen for a working life with automation.
Six networked KUKA ready2_educate cells, coupled with computer workstations for programming: since the 21/22 school year, a state-of-the-art learning laboratory has been preparing students at the Vocational School (Gewerbliche Schule) in Göppingen, Southern Germany, for a professional life with automation.
A total of 12 students can use the robot training cells per lesson. Teachers present content and scenarios on large projection screens, while the young men and women receive "teacher-centric" information as well as being able to work synchronously at the computer workstations and ready2_educate cells.
"It was always important to us to have modern hardware that is close to practical applications," says Franz Thaler, department head of educational centers and technical schools at GS Göppingen, and Joachim Heer, head of the automation technology/robotics learning lab adds, "Robotics is a beacon in automation technology and can be used very well in the classroom. We chose KUKA because we receive very good support, the training cells can be used in an illustrative way, and many companies work with KUKA robots. The goal is always to teach our students and trainees as close to reality as possible. And the response from the companies has been very positive."
In addition, students at KUKA College in Augsburg can also earn their certificate in robot programming. "Everyone involved benefits," says Frank Zimmermann, Business Development Manager Education at KUKA. "School-leavers in the market then already have basic robotics training, and companies don't have to send their job starters to training courses first. And for the students, a school with such an offer is very attractive."
Skilled workers in demand on the labor market
That's because automation is playing an increasingly important role, especially in apprenticeships. More and more people are coming into contact with industrial robots in their careers. Schools have also recognized this and are increasingly looking at how these topics can be woven into the curricula. The Gewerbliche Schule Göppingen is also working on the next steps, including integrating the topic of offline programming with KUKA.Sim.
"We are also working on extending robot training to the entire school," reports Franz Thaler. "Currently, technician training is still our focus group. In addition, we want to bring together automation technology, robotics and welding applications. Up to now, a distinction has often been made between PLC programming and robot programming. Our focus is to train people who are confidently at home in both worlds. Because these are highly sought-after specialists on the labor market."