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Company News, 2006-05-08, 11:02 AM

Internet survey confirms that young people want education

From May 20 to 28, the Ideas Park 2006 will be opening its doors at the Expo site in Hanover. Organized by ThyssenKrupp in conjunction with more than 50 partners, the show will run for nine days and will present tomorrow's technology today on a 30,000 m² site. On Tuesday, Lower Saxony's Economics Minister Walter Hirche, Mayor of Hanover Herbert Schmalstieg and ThyssenKrupp Executive Board member Ralph Labonte will present a selection of the exhibits. There is something for everyone, from Lego robots on a deep sea mission to school student laboratories to the Ideas Workshop, which will network 120 guests every day. On Sunday, May 21, Lower Saxony will present itself as an innovative state.

"Lower Saxony is an ideas state, as visitors from all over Germany will be able to see for themselves. The future of our economy and our society depends on our ability to support education and innovation in all areas," said Hirche. "The choice of Hanover and the German Pavilion at the former EXPO site as a venue is also a great advertisement for the city. It is easy to reach from all directions, making it attractive both to visitors and also as a location for companies," said Schmalstieg. "We at ThyssenKrupp are convinced that we need to invest in this country, and in the hearts and minds of its people. That's the only way to ensure we will still be enjoying success on the world market twenty years from now," says Ralph Labonte.

Germany's younger generation has an enlightened attitude to technology but also expects greater efforts from industry and the government. These are the findings of an internet survey on the subject of youth and technology conducted by TNS Infratest Bielefeld on behalf of ThyssenKrupp to tie in with the Ideas Park 2006. In response to the question of who they thought would have a greater influence on positive developments in Germany over the next 20 years, around one third of respondents said the government, while two thirds saw it as the duty of industry. "As an industrial enterprise, we regard that as a compliment, but also as a great responsibility," said Ralph Labonte, member of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp at the presentation of the study and the Ideas Park 2006 in Hanover. "And it shows that this is a responsibility industry must share with the government. Major tasks can only be tackled if we stand together." The younger generation also has clear recommendations as to how Germany can be moved forward: by further developing the education system, through technological innovations and by developing the labor market. What measures need to be taken to maintain standards of technical education in Germany in the future? A slight majority - around 59 percent - of respondents felt that general, broad-based technical education is needed in schools and universities. By contrast, around 41 percent demanded targeted investments to teach scientific and technological elites at schools and universities. In reply to the question "What can experts from business and industry do to improve technical education?", two out of three respondents said these experts should be deployed in schools to promote the general understanding of technology. With regard to funding for key technologies in Germany, priority was given to the use of renewable energy sources, alternative engines using non-fossil fuels, and new therapies, medicines and medical technologies. However, technology is not just a national issue, it is also seen in the global context. For example, around two thirds of respondents believed that exporting German technology can help improve living standards in poorer countries and give them the opportunity to develop further.
The survey's findings confirm that the involvement of industry in education is essential. Working with numerous partners, ThyssenKrupp has been active in this area for many years. One component of the company's commitment to education is the Ideas Park, first staged in Gelsenkirchen in 2004 and this year to be held in Hanover. The idea is to explain technology in an enjoyable, hands-on way, to show how knowledge and technology improve many areas of our lives and how important technology is for modern societies. To do this, dialogue with the people behind the technologies will be a central element of the Ideas Park.

<u>Ideas Park 2006</u>
The Ideas Park is a unique technology experience. It will take visitors on an informative and emotive journey into the future. The activities and exhibits will center on three main areas of innovation: "Mobility", "Life and environment" and "Creativity". "Mobility" will look at innovations in the transportation sector. In the face of pollution and scare resources, transportation must become cleaner and more economical. What will the future look like? "Life and environment" will show how more and more people can share in the benefits of progress and prosperity while at the same time protecting the environment. "Creativity" will demonstrate how technical innovations inspire architects, designers and others and present some of the cultural and esthetic highlights this has produced.

The exhibition area in the German Pavilion will feature over 150 innovations spread over 18 "islands". On EXPO Plaza, 25 further exhibits will give visitors an insight into the world of innovations. These will include a nano soccer game measuring just a few molecules, a model of the gigantic tunnel boring machines used in the Gotthard massif, exciting automotive, shipping and space research exhibits, physical experiments, and the use of innovative materials in the household. Some 400 engineers, researchers, inventors and students will be displaying their work and inviting visitors to join in. Visitors can make their own designs and build e.g. rockets or cars using simple materials. But they will also be invited to put forward their own ideas for the future for debate. Up to 2,000 visitors will have the opportunity to take part in the daily future workshop: under the heading "Ideas Workshop: Young People for Germany's Future", up to 120 visitors will be able to take part in each of 18 workshops. Anyone interested is advised to book early at to secure their place.

The Ideas Park will offer a varied program of events for people of all ages. Every morning there will be children's universities and advice on apprentice training for younger visitors. School inventor clubs will present their own developments. In the daily ideas show, Ranga Yogeshwar and Helge Haas will present exciting experiments and together with numerous researchers examine how good ideas are created. School students can experiment and invent in a mobile research lab. Prominent guests from the worlds of science, business, politics and the media will discuss important future issues in numerous talk shows chaired by well-known German TV presenters such as Heiner Bremer. The popular TV children's quiz program "1, 2 or 3" will attract young guests to the EXPO Plaza three times a day, while the open-air show Mova Futura will take guests on a "theatrical journey in time" through the world of technology.

The program of events for each day and the full week along with all the latest information on the Ideas Park 2006 in Hanover is available on the internet at Admission to the Ideas Park 2006 is free.

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