Support of Science and Innovations
Škoda Transportation cooperates with primary and secondary schools and with universities. With regard to primary schools the company offers mainly excursions for the students of the last years. At secondary schools it helps students in choosing their jobs and with developing technical education by means of practice for apprentices and students. The cooperation with universities is focused on participation at employment fairs, on providing external education at schools, on the study programme “Kolejová vozidla” (Rolling Stock Vehicles) at ČVUT (Czech Technical University in Prague) and on a whole range of other programmes which aim at motivating students to work in the Škoda company.
Joint research projects with university students and academicians are certainly worth noting. These projects are a source of new and innovative approaches which can be used in constructing new machines. The Trainee Programme, to which people studying technical fields associated with the business activity of Škoda Transportation can apply, has also proved very successful. In its framework a university student works on a specific project for two years. One of its many successful outputs is, for example, a new design of a tramcar bogie. In addition, the graduates of the Trainee Škoda Programme can also receive an award of up to 90 000 Czech crowns.
Škoda Transportation also announces topics of theses and dissertations which concern specific tasks associated with the activity of the company and it also offers the possibility of an individual agreement. For many years the Škoda company has co-organized the prestigious Emil Škoda Awardwith the ČVUT Media Lab foundation. It is a competition for the best thesis and dissertation which is announced with the aim of supporting excellent performance by students and postgraduates of technical fields at universities. The winner of this award can receive up to 80 thousand Czech crowns and a study stay at a foreign professional workplace worth up to 100 thousand Czech crowns.
Techmania Science Centre
Last but not least, together with the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, Škoda Transportation operates a Science Centre Techmania. Its aim is to revive the declining interest of young people in the world of science and technology and to make them aware of various physical and mathematical principles in an interesting way. The exhibitions which are constantly expanding with new programmes attract around seventy thousand people every year, mainly from primary and secondary schools.
The hands-on interactive character of the Science Centre will be but another reason for young people to visit it because it is exactly the young people who are used to setting up and controlling everything. The hands-on interactivity means that it is up to the visitor to make an exhibit move and then to watch how a given physical phenomenon unfolds in front of his eyes. A direct experience is a far better learning tool than a dull explanation.
A unique 3D planetarium represents yet another of the attractions of the Techmania Science Centre. The Centre has been built in a historical building dating back to 1917 which is also a cultural heritage. The planetarium is fitted with equipment which can project in a large 3D format onto a spherical surface, and this results in a completely different experience than a classical 3D cinema. The viewer is surrounded by the image and he finds himself directly in the heart of the action.
The visitors can therefore walk through the human body, dive into the undersea world, fly through space or explore the micro world which is the basis of everything around us. There are only about ten of these devices which can do this unique style of projection around the world. One of these devices is now in Plzeň thanks to Škoda Transportation.
The entire premises of the Techmania Science Centre was finished in 2014. Visitors are able to walk through the entire 30 000 square meters on the Škoda grounds.
New exhibitions, laboratories and workshops were set up and they offer, especially to schools, the possibility of using first-rate equipment and facilities which the schools would not be able to afford on their own otherwise. At the same time a range of experts and science promoters are working there and they are able to help not only pedagogical employees with teaching but also students with the understanding of the relevant subject matter. Due to its size and range of programmes Techmania is thus rank among the leading facilities of this type in the world.
In order to see the current events or the list of exhibitions at the Techmania Science Centre you can visit the website www.techmania.cz