Children Are Our Biggest Reward – #LetsCluster Sponsorship Award to Support Young Research Talents

f.l.t.r.: Walter Baierl (Energy Agency Ing. Walter Baierl), Andrea Koss (Head of Kindergarten/Hort, City of Klagenfurt), Franz Petritz (Klagenfurt City Council, Education and Health Departments), Chantal Zenner (Kindergarten Sonnenschein), Daniela Wrumnig (Head of Kindergarten Sonnenschein), Christina Henrich (Initiator of the sponsorship award, Silicon Alps), Ruth Aigner (Initiator of the sponsorship award, Silicon Alps), Elisabeth Berghold (Silicon Alps), Lisa Mödritscher (Kindergarten Sonnenschein)
in front: potential specialists of tomorrow (Kindergarten Sonnenschein)

Little researchers – future talents. Children Are Our Biggest Reward – #LetsCluster Sponsorship Award to Support Young Research Talents

The Silicon Alps Cluster awards young STEM experts of tomorrow.

One of the major focus points of the Silicon Alps Cluster lies on attracting the skilled specialists of today and, likewise important, also promoting the talents of tomorrow. Recently the Cluster was awarded the Congress Award of the City of Graz for the #LetsCluster Summit that took place in Graz in 2019 – the first international Electronic-Based-Systems Summit with 1,200 visitors from 30 nations. The award now provides the Cluster with the opportunity to donate the prize money to young potential specialists of tomorrow in their earliest years of education. Therefore it was decided, to create the special Silicon Alps “#LetsCluster Sponsorship Award” for exemplary early support of young, potential EBS professionals of tomorrow in the STEM fields of knowledge. Two innovative preschools in Styria and Carinthia were selected supported in their highly relevant work with funding for their future projects.

Austrian preschools to raise the future STEM experts.

As the Silicon Alps Cluster has its origins in the regions of Carinthia and Styria, two preschools in these areas were chosen for the award. The Styrian preschool MOMO and the Carinthian preschool Sonnenschein are among the most innovative ones in their area. Both preschools share the same vision to provide a stimulating and prepared environment so that children can develop their inherent potential in the best possible way and thus to awaken interest and enthusiasm for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) subjects. Both preschools offer material for research and exploration and conduct exciting projects on these topics on a regular basis. The children’s everyday life is characterized by technical learning and play tasks learning, play and experimentation opportunities or offers. Through consciously selected material and actively including these young minds, the children are able to get familiar with concepts of technology. As a result, the children become more aware of their own inclinations, activities, and potential.

Innovative Preschool MOMO in Styria.

Located in the city of Graz, MOMO offers a variety of creative approaches. The aim of the preschool is to grow together with the children and their parents through the challenges and limits of everyday life. and to discover and develop their inherent potential. The pedagogues work according to the approaches of Emmi Pikler, and Elfriede Hengstenberg, Maria Montessori, non-violent communication according to Marshall Rosenberg and Jeux Dramatiques – the preschool MOMO is furthermore oriented towards the values such as mindfulness, empathy and compass.

Some of their previous projects included „FahrRad“, an attempt to teach children about green mobility and alternatives, „Unseen“, a project based on biotechnology and its ‚invisible‘ world, as well as „Play!Science“ which covered games within the realm of natural sciences and technology.

„Research Preschool“ Sonnenschein in Carinthia

The Carinthian preschool Sonnenschein, based in Klagenfurt, has been awarded the STEM seal of approval for their extraordinary work with young children. Research-based learning is a daily part of their everyday educational life. The children are seen as active students in the fields of science and technology. All five group rooms are equipped with research corners and high-quality experiment materials. The didactic approach corresponds to the educational plan. Since September 2016, the Sonnenschein preschool has been a Carinthian training center for educators, too. In cooperation with the Young Industry of Carinthia and the state government, advanced training courses on the subject of Natural Science and Technology are offered in three modules. Educators so can grasp the opportunity to learn and practice in a live environment.

f.l.t.r.: Gudrun Dallermassl (Head of Kindergarten MOMO), Ruth Aigner (Initiator of the Sponsorship Award, Silicon Alps), Christina Henrich (Initiator of the Sponsorship Award, Silicon Alps), Ingrid Cvetko (Kindergarten MOMO), Eva Hoffmann (Kindergarten MOMO)
in front: potential specialists of tomorrow (Kindergarten MOMO)

Future projects made possible with the #LetsCluster Sponsorship award.

Both preschools are excited for their next adventures with their young, bright minds. Each preschool uses the Silicon Alps funding for different projects within the STEM and research area:

MOMO will carry out their project „Energy at the Preschool MOMO“ between January and Summer 2021. They will cover diverse topics around energy and talk about its generation, its forms, use, origin, and fields of application. The practical part of the project is presented by the conversion of a bicycle with the goal to make physical power visible. The bike is supposed to light up lamps or drive a water pump. Finally, forms of energy such as air, water, and sun will be discussed, and the forms of energy compared. A few workshops on the subjects of magnetism and electricity form the theoretical and practical conclusion of the project.

The Carinthian preschool Sonnenschein will organize a project called „Family meets Energy“. The aim of the project is to familiarize children with the future topic of energy as early as possible in an exciting, playful way. The fun factor plays an essential role and age-optimized teaching aids make experimenting a great experience for children. For instance, current-conducting materials are to be examined through experiments and awareness of energy-saving behavior at home will be created. In addition, light is used to create electricity and the children will further learn about photovoltaics. At the end of the workshop series, all preschool children will receive the certificate “Junior Energy Specialist”.

The Silicon Alps Cluster is thus proud to sponsor two highly important and innovative Austrian preschools which contribute to creating a future that will affect everyone of us in the most positive way. Manifesting future-oriented topics in children’s minds lays the foundation to achieve great things.

Silicon Alps are looking for cooperation partners who are interested in supporting young talents of tomorrow by funding future #LetsCluster Young Talent Awards. Become a promotor of our young generation joint projects, funding, company visits, or any other sort of sponsoring! Take the chance to contact us: office@silicon-alps.at and help improve the foundations.

More information:
Preschool MOMO: https://verein-momo.at
Preschool Sonnenschein: https://www.klagenfurt.at/leben-in-klagenfurt/kindergaerten-horte/kindergaerten/sonnenschein.html
Silicon Alps Cluster: https://www.silicon-alps.at