A world of opportunity

Möjligheternas Värld (“A World of Opportunity”) gives Avalon the chance to help inspire the next generation of technicians and engineers.

“What is Möjligheternas värld?”

Möjligheternas värld is an event organised by Teknikcollege at the Kreativum Science Center in Karlshamn in partnership with the business and industry sector. The event aims to raise interest in technology among eighth graders, who will soon be making their upper secondary school choices During the week-long event, around 1,000 pupils visit four different stations relating to technology. The companies hosting the stations this year are Avalon Innovation, Volvo Cars, Calmon, and Uniper.

The name of the event reflects the opportunity we all have to influence how the world around us will look in the future and, specifically, how the application of technology affects us and the environment. By letting the eighth graders get hands-on with technology, Möjligheternas värld also demonstrates that it is people who are behind all the technology that surrounds us, and that it is you, me, us, and them who can influence its development.

Those staffing the stations and instructing the pupils during the week are young people in their second year of a technology programme at an upper secondary school. This is a great way of bringing together pupils who have made their upper secondary school choice with those who have yet to do so. The development among the upper secondary school pupils is amazing. They really stepped up and took responsibility.

Stations

Avalon – Here’s where we’ll be! Using 11 gears, 6 axles, 3 hands, a crank, and a front and a back, as well as some nuts and bolts, we’ll build a wind-up clock. The idea is to show, in simple terms, how a gear exchange works and make the hands turn at different speeds. The pupils have drawings and our fantastic upper secondary school representatives (as well as a few hints and tips) to help them.
Volvo – Volvo’s station will demonstrate how the features of a modern car fit together with the programming behind them. Pupils will have the chance to program an Arduino to equip a toy car with features such as reversing sensors.
Calmon – With Calmon, pupils can try their hand at soldering components to a circuit board. The boards have a number of LEDs that should light up in different sequences and can be used as cells in a large version of Conway’s Game of Life.
Uniper – Earth has been hit by a solar storm that has knocked out the electricity grid. The pupil’s task is to start up the oil-fired back-up power plant in Karlshamn and check that the municipality’s water supply is usable, despite the water treatment plant being offline.

Outcome

Soon after the project was revealed, it was clear that a wind-up clock was the thing to go for. It gives pupils the chance to play around with the pieces to build a sort of puzzle, and follow logical patterns and drawings to make something that moves on the front as you turn a crank at the back. Once we had made our decision, it was time to fire up CAD on the computer to create a first, second, and then third draft. After a number of iterations (both CAD and physical), the clock took on its current form.
All the parts except the axles and nuts and bolts are made of plywood (a great material for creating this kind of prototype). A total of 1,352 teeth have been cut and sanded, 32 bolts have been cut to the correct length, and 48 axles and 24 hands have been produced – enough to make eight clocks – which will be assembled and disassembled at least 40 times each during the week.

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