Today we introduce you to the Hardbergschule Mosbach in our #beamies series. Find out more about their sustainability project “Eat fit, help the environment!” in the interview. and how exactly you use the Mr Beam laser cutter.
A school for all needs
Hello Tilo, thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions and tell us a little about your school. It's best to start with that now. :)
What type of school is the Hardbergschule and what makes the school special?
Hello dear Mr Beam team. Of course, very happy. The Hardbergschule is an SBBZ learning. SBBZ stands for special education and advice center with a focus on learning. Students who need more support with their learning go to us. At our school, we attach great importance to ensuring that every student is supported at their individual level of learning. If you would like to find out more about our school, you can watch our image film .
If you look around your website a bit, you'll immediately notice that you offer a lot of afternoon activities. Why do you have such a wide range of offerings and how is it received by the students?
Exactly. It is very important to us that, in addition to cultural techniques, practical skills are also promoted . Our goal here is for our students to discover talents and, if necessary, pursue them further. From grade four onwards, students have the opportunity to choose a supplementary “Practical Learning” (PL) afternoon offer every month. Depending on their age, they take at least four to eight courses per school year. The offer includes both manual and creative courses as well as recreational educational activities. The PL courses are led and carried out by teachers, the school's work educator and youth mentors. Examples of these courses include guitar, pottery, forest work, football, horse riding and animal care, indoor hockey, programming, English, climbing, archery, circus, and much more...
Start of the student company
One of these projects is the student company “Neonboards”, which can also be followed on Instagram. What learning objectives are taught here and what products do the students sell?
Our student company has been around for 6 years. The student company started by building its own longboards and selling them. Our students also offer free longboard riding workshops for other schools on a mentorship basis. Over the years, more and more products have been added. For several years we have had our own design & print department that refines textiles with our Neonboards logo, but also processes individual customer orders. Here we sell, among other things, sweaters, T-shirts, cups, reusable lunch boxes and bottles.
In addition to basic business knowledge, we want to teach our students how a company works. They should learn to take responsibility , acquire practical professional knowledge, get in touch with customers, and much more.
Mr Beam comes to school
How did you become aware of Mr Beam, and how did you know that you absolutely needed the laser cutter for your school project?
We became aware of this through a project by the Center for School Quality and Teacher Training Baden-Württemberg (ZSL). There is a group of teachers here who deal with digital media and specifically with the topic of maker space. And in this group it was recommended to us that we should definitely take a look at the Mr Beam for use in class.
Which model do you currently have and can you imagine an upgrade in the future, if possible? (x-head or height extension)
We currently already have two Mr Beam. Once with the “S-head” including height extension and once with the “X-head”. The height extension is super important for us because we can use it to engrave the bottle caps of the stainless steel bottles. We currently use the Mr Beam with the “X-head” primarily for finishing our lunch boxes, as it is quite a bit faster than the other Mr Beam. And if you have to refine 200-300 lunch boxes, the increased speed will become very noticeable at some point.
Why do you think our Mr Beam suits schools so well and how is the laser cutter received by the students?
The students are really into the two Mr Beams. Especially because using a laptop is something new for many people. In addition, our orders are always very complex in terms of requirements. The logos need to be prepared or found. The customer's wishes must be individually adapted and of course all the material must be prepared. From the order to production to shipping, everything is included. For us as teachers, it is very important that the Mr Beam is not only easy to use, but above all safe to use.
Project “Eat yourself fit, help the environment!”
The student company is always pursuing new projects . Please tell us briefly about the latest project “Eat fit, help the environment!”. How did the idea come about and how was it implemented? Were there any problems or was everything overcome without any obstacles?
The project is not our first sustainability project. A few years ago we started the “Get fit, help the environment” project. Here we have individually refined stainless steel bottles with the Mr Beam and drawn attention to the topics of healthy drinking, exercise and disposable vs. reusable.
Now it was clear that our students needed a sustainable lunch box in addition to a sustainable bottle . Our new project aims to inform students in Mosbach and the surrounding area about the advantages of reusable lunch boxes. These make a significant contribution to reducing plastic waste because they can be used for several years. Plastic lunch boxes also have the disadvantage that microplastics are released over the course of use. The reusable lunch boxes we use are stainless steel lunch boxes from Tatonka. The cans have a sustainable bamboo lid. Stainless steel is durable, hygienic and easy to clean, while bamboo is valued for its rapid growth and environmental friendliness. The cans are individually refined by our student company with the Mr Beam. Another key point of our project is education. We strive to educate students about the importance of a healthy breakfast.
The implementation has gone really well so far. Of course, you are always faced with smaller challenges, but they are good for further development and optimizing your workflow.
How many cans did you then engrave and distribute exactly? The reactions were definitely positive, right?
This school year we have already engraved almost 350 lunch boxes and still have open orders for around 100 lunch boxes to process. We are also very grateful to the city of Mosbach. During the organic lunch box campaign, first graders always receive a lunch box as a gift when they start school and are informed about what a healthy breakfast can look like. Until now, this lunch box has always been made of plastic. So she was looking for an alternative and found it with us. The reactions so far have been great. We are currently receiving a lot of orders from parents whose children have received a lunch box from us.
Wow, the students definitely put a lot of work into this. Will you rest on that now or will there be more projects in the future? How does it generally work when looking for and planning a new project?
First of all, we want to promote our two sustainability projects beyond Mosbach. The aim is for our students to contact other schools and, if interested, to present the projects at a parents' evening. Of course, this is a lot of work, so we don't have any major projects planned at the moment. But who knows when that will change. We still have one innovation in mind. We would like to expand our range with a reusable container with a seal so that you can take your lunch with you to work on long days.
Thank you very much, Tilo! It is really very interesting how you teach the students various skills in such a practical way and how our Mr Beam can also help significantly. Maybe you can tell us more about your projects in a year. Good luck and have fun at work!