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“Makers of Tomorrow” sees innovative learning space created on campus with boost from Bosch

The realisation of a simple idea and the construction of a creative learning space was the concept of a team of student winners in Bosch’s “Makers of Tomorrow” contest.
The concept was submitted by Mr Anousone Sisouthum, Mr Souphahaxay Xayavong and Mr Nusin Nammaninin.
The team was among those at the National University of Laos’ Faculty of Engineering and Pakpasak Technical College in a contest organised by Bosch to breathe new life into an unused water tank on the campus grounds.

Prof. Dr Somsy Gnophanxay (second right) and Mr Andre de Jong pose after opening the new building that was created through a project supported by Bosch Laos.

Bosch is a German multinational engineering and electronics company. The aim of the company’s student project was to inculcate a spirit of innovation and to utilise students’ skill sets in a practical and sustainable way.
The learning space building, measuring 36 square metres, was the brainchild of the three young engineering students who transformed the old water tank into a creative and sustainable learning space.
Bosch’s “Makers of Tomorrow” initiative came full circle from an innovative idea to reality at the official inauguration of the building last week.
The new building is a creative and inspirational study space for students.
Hexagonal in shape yet adopting a fundamentally Lao-inspired architectural style, the building is powered with solar energy and has a natural ventilation system. Able to accommodate about 20 students at one time, the space is also furnished with wi-fi, learning facilities and a display of Bosch products.
“Just a year ago, we developed an idea and to see it become reality is surreal,” said Souphaxay Xayavong, the leader of the winning team.
“For me, this experience was more than just a project, it was a once-in-a lifetime experience that allowed me to grow my personal and professional skills. My team and I were given the opportunity to channel our passion and knowledge in engineering, think differently, and create a unique and executable idea.”
Mr Andre de Jong, Managing Director of Bosch in Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, said the company’s founder Robert Bosch was a testament of how the combination of theoretical and practical programmes helps to unleash one’s creative potential and realise ideas by utilising skills learnt.
He supported various learning programmes that gave young talents all over the world the tools and means to receive a solid education and training that would prepare them for the future.
This tradition continues until today and is the reason Bosch introduced the “Makers of Tomorrow” initiative.
The scheme is an innovative, first-of-its-kind project and has been introduced by Bosch only in Laos.
The goal is simple - to provide students with a unique opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge and apply what they have learnt in the classroom, stretch their imaginations, and collaborate to solve real-life challenges.
“The world that we live in today is rapidly changing and competitive,” Mr de Jong told those assembled.
“In such times, a relevant in-depth preparation for the working world is imperative so combining technology-enabled learning, an authentic learning environment and skills development is more important than ever.
“Through this project we hope more and more students are inspired and empowered to dream big, pursue their passion, and to never stop acquiring skills so as to develop their fullest potential by succeeding in their education, realising their career aspirations and, in turn, help make a difference in creating a prosperous future for Laos,” he added.
“Makers of Tomorrow” is a local initiative in Laos by Bosch, under the company’s “We Help Make a Difference” branding campaign in Southeast Asia. The aim is to foster creativity and develop the practical skills of aspiring engineers.
The project aims to foster creative problem-solving among young people and is at the heart of Bosch’s commitment to improving the quality of life, environment and society.
Mr  de Jong thanked the staff of the National University of Laos for their relentless passion in nurturing confidence in students, in their studies and the things they are passionate about, especially in the field of engineering and craftsmanship. 
The official opening of the learning space building was attended by university President Prof. Dr Somsy Gnophanxay, Mr de Jong, and Lao education officials.
 “Through this project, our students have been able to showcase their potential, harness their creativity, and gain new skill sets in developing innovative solutions for the betterment of the community within our campus,” Prof. Dr Somsy said.
 “We are honoured to work alongside Bosch and look forward to further collaboration to nurture the next generation of Lao engineers,” he added.
The winning team visited the Bosch power tools factory in Penang, Malaysia, earlier this year to further broaden their knowledge with help from experts in the field.
The winners, together with the runner-up team from Pakpasak Technical College, under the supervision of lecturers and Bosch professionals, took three and a half months to convert the water tank into a learning facility.

By Sisouphan Amphonephong
(Latest Update November 23, 2017)


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