On 3 October, around 450 large and small companies, museums and organisations throughout Germany opened up their doors as part of an initiative instigated by The Program with the Mouse, a popular children's TV programme. Around 50 children and their parents took a look behind the scenes at TECOSIM in Cologne and learnt how a real Olympic torch is developed. The globally active engineering company was responsible for developing one of the most significant symbols for the summer Olympic games in London in 2012.
It was an exciting two hours for the young guests between eight and fourteen years old who came to the Cologne branch of TECOSIM for the Mouse Open Day. They learnt how a real Olympic torch is developed and how the flame managed not to go out even when subject to strong winds, heavy rain and the infamous weather conditions on the British Isles. Everyone was quiet as a mouse when the general manager Mark Gevers explained what exactly needs to be considered when designing an Olympic torch to ensure that torch bearers do not get burnt or injured when carrying the finished design.
The children learnt through fun and games how the 8,000 holes were made in the Olympic torch for the 2012 summer games in London. The young visitors were able to make their own torches using paper and cardboard while trying out different joining methods. Finally, the children learnt how heat is transferred, or rather, not transferred into the handle.
A notable aspect in the process to develop the Olympic torch was that everything was calculated using exceptionally fast and powerful computers. They calculated and simulated all scenarios – How would the flame behave in a storm? What would happen if a bearer fell over? The engineers were then able to make recommendations regarding implementation or improvement based on the data obtained. "We were pleasantly surprised by the fantastic ideas the children came up with and how they built their designs. We can feel assured about the next generation of budding engineers," affirms a pleased Team Manager Kirstin Kasper.
It was the first time that TECOSIM participated in the initiative, which took place for the third time. The Program with the Mouse is broadcast at 11.30 every Sunday and is one of the most successful children's programmes on German television.