CYBATHLON @school – Fostering New Ways of Thinking about Science and Technology
CYBATHLON @school offers teaching modules in various subjects that revolve around the concept of inclusion and robotics. The learning modules promote awareness, foster new ways of thinking, and sustainably advance inclusion and equality for those with disabilities in society. To continue this noble endeavour, CYBATHLON @school is holding a workshop in Tenero, Switzerland where students from various schools will participate and learn how science and technology can be incorporated into sports and daily life.
CYBATHLON @school starts the year 2023 with an Event for school children. The workshop will take place at Sportech in Tenero, Switzerland from 25 – 27 January where schools from all over Switzerland will participate in various programs. The workshop, in a didactic and interactive way, will demonstrate how science and technology can be integrated into sports and everyday life.
Nina Kollegger, who is the head of CYBATHLON @school, says, “we offer two different 45-minute workshops. On the one hand, students have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the technology of the "Flexo" elbow exoskeleton, which was developed specifically for the classroom.” Kollegger further explains, “children get to wear the exoskeleton, use the various sensors to control it and expand their knowledge of the interaction between humans and technology.”
Tobias Schifferle, who is an expert Didactics at CYBATHLON @school, elaborates on the importance of workshops for children in general, “they get an insight into an extraordinary sports module, which sensitizes and inspires for inclusion and technology. By walking with a prosthetic leg, driving a wheelchair, completing a course for the blind or handling objects with a prosthetic arm, new movement experiences are made.”
The CYBATHLON @school modules impart knowledge, but also lead to a change in thinking in the long term and make a sustainable contribution to the equality and inclusion of people with disabilities in society.
The module is accompanied by ambassadors (people with physical disabilities) who provide tips and tricks to help overcome the supposedly simple hurdles. The ambassadors help to develop the modules and assist in presenting them at school. One of many benefits of this system is, that the pupils can directly ask them questions about living with a disability, the use of assistive technologies in their day-to-day life, the existing infrastructures and their first-hand experience of inclusion in all spheres of life.
The workshops are conducted by CYBATHLON @school trained coaches, mostly ETH students. The pool of almost 20 coaches comes from an interdisciplinary studies such as health sciences, computer science, applied languages, civil engineering, mathematics, geography, mechanical engineering and architecture. During the workshops, the coaches show the children what challenges persons with disabilities face. Together they consider how these obstacles and challenges can be removed or how assistive technologies can be designed so that people with disabilities can go about their daily lives independently and at the same time as part and parcel of society.
The CYBATHLON @school is a sub-project of the CYBATHLON at ETH Zurich offering teaching modules around the topics of inclusion and robotics in various subjects. The aim of the project is to sensitise teachers, children and young people to the everyday challenges of people with disabilities. Furthermore, the project aims to raise awareness of ethics, medicine, law, inclusion and sports among students as well as inspire enthusiasm in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology (STEM subjects). The learning modules were accompanied by and developed with people with disabilities and are aligned with Curriculum 21 for Swiss schools.