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International recognition for MyMachine

How about some power shoes or self-driving fantasy cars with magical abilities? Once again, school children and students at the University of Agder (UiA) have had the opportunity to unleash their imagination through the MyMachine project, which continues to receive international acclaim.

Illustration of MyMachine
UiA is part of the international MyMachine project, which has once again received international awards this year (Credit: Saara Maria Ojanen/UiA).

A large group of enthusiastic primary school children took over Vilhelm Krag Hall at UiA last week. Here, they tested early prototypes of their dream machines, developed by engineering and arts students.

The approximately 100 pupils who visited UiA that day were from Year 2 and Year 3 classes in schools in Kristiansand. Check out the photos and videos captured during the event.

This testing is one of several steps in the process from idea to functional prototypes. In the spring, the children will be invited back for another testing session, which will take place in the workshops of the vocational classes involved in creating the working prototypes of the machines.

“Ultimately, it will culminate in a public ‘please touch’ exhibition showcasing this year’s dream machines in the splendid premises of the cultural school at KNUDEN,” explains Idunn Sem, the project leader at the Faculty of Fine Arts at UiA. 

Best innovation in education

MyMachine is a Belgian initiative that has spread to eleven countries so far. Primary school children, vocational students, and university students collaborate to build dream machines, with the university students leading the process from start to finish.

“MyMachine at UiA is still one of a kind in Norway,” Sem says.

The objective is to stimulate creativity and give children, vocational students, and university students the experience of being creative idea generators, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

The project has once again received awards for its role in promoting creativity in education.

“This year, MyMachine was awarded both the Tech Education Initiative of the Year and the Reimagine Education Presence Learning Silver Award. It was also included among the top 100 innovations in education worldwide for the fourth consecutive year by HundrED,” Sem says.

Also a recruitment initiative

At UiA, MyMachine is currently administered and led by the Faculty of Fine Arts. Students become involved in the project through the ‘MyMachine - design thinking, creativity, and project management’ course.

The project receives funding from Glencore Nikkelverk, Kristiansand municipality, the Faculty of Fine Arts, and the Faculty of Engineering and Science. MyMachine is also included in the multi-year initiative on vocational education by Agder County Council, ‘Students with special learning potential’.

“MyMachine also serves as a recruitment initiative, aiming to attract a wider range and more students to higher education in general, and specifically to arts and engineering at UiA,” Sem explains.

Learn more about MyMachine.