Learning German through Hands-on Electrical EngineeringStudents and Refugees experiment together at Aalen University

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Electrons are flowing and wavelengths are resonating as students at the Hochschule and refugees circle around the electrical experiment.

We, 21. June 2017

Voices fill the room. People from six different countries are sitting together discussing the experimental batteries that they made from a mixture of water, soda, salt, aluminum panels and copper panels. With them, they make little LED’s glow. “Will there be enough voltage if we also make a parallel circuit?” Students and refugees gathered at Aalen University every Wednesday in May and June to experiment together with batteries and  motors.

Electrical Engineering students initiated the project. They wanted to share their excitement for electrical engineering with interested refugees. In total, the seminar was eight hours, during which the students laid the groundwork for electrical engineering and tested some applications. “We want the participants to have an insight into what you can do with electrical engineering and also make it easier for them to land a job,” said Julian Krockenberger, one of the students who helped to start the project. Juliane Hoffman, the delegate of the city of Aalen for refugees, helped set up contact between the students and refugees.

The participants were excited to do it, for example, Avedis Balankozian; the 21-year-old took part to try to get to know new people and learn new ideas. “I wanted to work on my German, and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun with the students,” said the young man from Aleppo. Mohamed Haj Ali is a little bit closer to his professional goal because of the seminar. He studied four semesters of Electrical engineering and wants to pick up his studies as fast as possible at Aalen University. “But I don’t learn any technical language in my German courses. It was a good opportunity to learn the electrical engineering language and to see if I can talk to people about electrical engineering in German,” said the 27-year-old