Smartphones and tablet PCs are the proof: the mouse and keyboard will soon be obsolete. Entries are now made via touchscreen instead. While the use of two fingers at the same time is the current state of the art, students recently developed an interactive desk with a multi-touch surface which can react to up to 55 fingers. Three 18-year-old students of Jena's Ernst Abbe High School designed and constructed the "fantasTABLE". In the process, they were supported by Carl Zeiss.
The students entered their fully functional interactive desk in the "Jugend forscht" science fair. They won first prize in southeast Thuringia's competition, which took place in Saalfeld on 14-15 February. They will be participating in the state competition of Thuringia at Jena High School on 22-23 March.
Students in Baden-Württemberg are researching diligently, too. The local east Württemberg competition took place at the host-company Carl Zeiss in Oberkochen on 10-11 February. The Max Planck High School in Heidenheim was one of the main winners – receiving the Carl Zeiss School Award, a special honor for the most active and successful school in the science fair. Three of the school's students received the regional award in the “working world” category for their fully-automated parking assistant. They proved the functioning of their invention using a Lego model car, which they will now be entering in the regional competition to be held 28-30 March in Fellbach.
Of course, both winning teams fancy their chances of a place in the final. The 47th "Jugend forscht" national competition will take place from 17-20 May in Erfurt. It will also be financially supported by Carl Zeiss through the national host, the STIFT technology foundation.
February 22, 2012