In June 2019 I worked for one of the world’s biggest youth fairs: Ideenexpo 2019 in Hanover. It’s basically a playground for future professions with a focus on technology, science, crafts and IT. I was moved to see young girls and boys naturally play with the exhibits like car racing, explosive chemical labs, wild robot arms. I wished there would have been an Ideenexpo when I went to school. Maybe I would not have become an illustrator but an aerospace engineer.
My job was to host certain programs on stage as a member of the Impulspiloten entertainment team. Amongst others, I interviewed animal ethicist Prof. Hoppe and he explained how to reduce animal testing and the ownership of experimental cells. Masons described to me how they can never walk past a construction sight without looking at what exactly they are building. And a young paramedic told us what’s it like for her to drive an ambulance and rescue people.
Next to all the experimenting, 500 girls and boys from 21 countries came to the fair to enter the contest RoboCup Junior. Their self-constructed robots competed in disciplines like soccer, rescue and onstage entertainment. It was pure joy! For the opening ceremony I was asked to illustrate and animate a video of all contesting countries. My main focus was to stress every country’s uniqueness without being too on the nose. And I did not double- but centi-checked every flag. Too bad I was not able to see the show myself but I was told later that the teams jumped up and cheered when they saw their country on screen and I might have shed a tear when I heard that. Here’s the full video:
And here are some of the film stills. Can you guess all the countries?