Following its successful launch at bauma in 2013, the second “THINK BIG!” initiative is being held at bauma 2016, which takes place between April 11 and 17, 2016 in Munich. The organizer is the German Engineering Federation, the VDMA (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau) in cooperation with Messe München. On 3,000 square meters of space, “THINK BIG!” will feature an extensive and interactive program focusing on technical training, educational and career opportunities in the construction and building materials machinery industry.

So far over 12,000 schoolchildren from 230 schools have registered to attend. Joachim Schmid, Managing Director of the VDMA Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Association, is enthusiastic: “The interest just keeps growing.” And Stefan Rummel, Managing Director of Messe München, adds: “We are delighted that this initiative is again receiving such a good response. It shows the tremendous appeal this sector has to young people.”

“THINK BIG!” is on each day in Hall B0 during bauma 2016, the 31st edition of the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment. A total of 16 companies, training institutions and associations will be taking part and offering participants a real hands-on experience, as well as explaining the training options and what’s involved in day-to-day work in their companies. To make the whole thing even more exciting, the companies will be bringing along digger, grader and welding simulators, pinball machines, electronic control panels and table football tables operated with joysticks. The schoolchildren will be able to bend miniature masts and experience high-precision electrohydraulics on a hydraulically controlled maze. Also on hand will be trainees, HR people and technical experts and engineers from the companies, ready to talk to the attendees.

The centre-piece of the event will once again be the big “Workshop Live!” stage, featuring 20-minute shows taking place each day, on the hour, between 10:00 and 16:00. Here trainees will be working with construction machinery, while also being interviewed about their training. Companies from the sector will be providing the necessary equipment: a transport platform, a small milling cutter, a wheel loader, a hose pump, a wheel loader axle, a vibratory plate, a roller and a mobile excavator. All the action is broadcast live on giant screens.

Schmid outlines what’s new this time around: “Compared to 2013 this year we have structured the initiative better and have now integrated the vocational colleges and universities.” In the new section called “Vocational college live!”, teachers and students from these institutions will be giving insights into the courses and explaining what’s different about these colleges as compared to normal schools.

In the “Study” area students and scientific assistants from various universities will be giving insights into their day-to-day activities. They will set out what’s involved in a conventional degree course in engineering and what a sandwich course is like. Separate offerings are being put on for girls, by the women involved in MINT, an initiative to promote interest in mathematics, information science, natural sciences and technology and the careers opportunities this opens up. “In this way we address every schoolboy and every schoolgirl, regardless of whether they are thinking of hands-on training in industry or interested in an academic course of study,” explains Schmid.

Alongside all of this, the VDMA has considerably extended its information offering to teachers ahead of bauma: Together with publishers Klett, a teacher’s guide has been produced that prepares the teaching staff better for “THINK BIG! Live at bauma”, informing them of what’s on offer there.

In addition a study brochure has been produced for secondary-school pupils, entitled “Zukunft Bauen – Mit MINT und modernen Maschinen”, which contains content from the fields of mathematics, technology, chemistry and physics, as applicable to the field of construction and construction machinery.