Young People Develop Innovative Sustainability Ideas at “Young Campus” Youth University
Under the motto “Nachhaltige Jugend” (sustainable youth), the Young Campus held by the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences gave young people the opportunity to dedicate a week to a selected focus area. In teams, the participants worked on their own projects including an environmentally friendly cargo bike taxi and an interactive waste monster video game.
“Plenty of Commitment and Ideas”
The Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations accompanied by cool beats, a film showing what the world might look like in 2050, a business concept for the sustainable transport of persons and goods, or an online game that has users sort rubbish correctly – the ideas developed by the young teams feature a wide range of topics and creativity.
The participants of the Young Campus were free to choose between various workshops on music production, design thinking, coding (for girls*), filmmaking, and entrepreneurship for beginners. They spent a week working on their respective subject together with expert mentors from the St. Pölten UAS. The framework topic “Nachhaltige Jugend” was the underlying motto for all workshops.
“It was with a lot of commitment, inventiveness and creativity that our young participants approached the topic of sustainable development from different perspectives for a week. The results of our joint efforts are impressive and attest to the strong innovative spirit of the teams”, emphasises Nicole Unger, head of the St. Pölten UAS service unit Research and Knowledge Transfer, who was one of several sustainability experts providing assistance to the participants.
Learning while Having Fun
“In my opinion, the open, inclusive and welcoming learning atmosphere is what makes the Young Campus special. It gives you the feeling of being able to actually learn and ask questions openly, without fear of criticism, and with the support of the workshop leaders. Apart from being informative and showing me many new facets of coding, this week was also proof that learning and discovering new things can be great fun”, explains Young Campus participant Clara Binderlehner.
“Thanks to a variety of workshops, the Young Campus made it easy to get a taste of and become familiar with many exciting topics. This gave us the opportunity to discover interesting new study programmes or professional fields that some of us might not have dared to try otherwise. I was particularly thrilled by the fact that we were able to create an awareness for the important topic of sustainability at the same time”, summarises participant Birgit Zeller.
Interactive Online Format
This year, the St. Pölten UAS hosted the Young Campus for the second time. In order to offer planning security in times of the coronavirus pandemic, the UAS switched the event to an online format with interactive workshops this year, thus making use of its comprehensive know-how in the field of online didactics and virtual event formats. In order to make the daily workshop routine more varied, the young people were also able to leave the virtual workshop space on various “outdoor missions”, for example to take pictures outside, to do research or draw sketches.
“The Young Campus allows young people to come into contact with current issues of research and innovation, and to gain an insight into our university. The significance of knowledge transfer in close cooperation with society cannot be stressed enough, especially in these times. We therefore set great store by maintaining formats such as the Young Campus. The high level of popularity among our young participants and their very positive feedback show that we are on the right track”, says Hannes Raffaseder, Chief Research and Innovation Officer at the St. Pölten UAS.
Take a look at the projects that have been developed on the framework theme "Sustainable Youth".
The Young Campus receives funding from the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) (funding for child and youth universities), the province of Lower Austria, and the SmartUP St. Pölten initiative.