Learning through freedom & diversity



Jan Klooster’s experince from Research Hatchery

‘Students work in small groups with existing projects: assignments are given by companies and other organizations’, that’s what I read in the course description when I was trying to figure out which courses I would like to follow. By then, I didn’t know what to expect from the course. I didn’t even know what was meant by ‘hatchery’.

Despite all of this I decided to sign up and see what would come out of it. As an Automotive Engineering student I am very used to doing projects and cooperating with students and companies. I have always preferred this way of studying over the traditional ‘lecture style’ of studying as it allows for more participation of the students.

During the first meeting I was surprised by the diversity of the members of my hatchery group. There were people from France, Spain, Belgium and Germany and their fields of studies ranged from Art and Design to Environmental Engineering. I didn’t expect something like this! But to me it sounded like a great way to learn from each other.

The subject of our hatchery consisted of 3D printing. As 3D printing is a quickly developing technology that is getting more popular each day, I found it to be a very interesting field to research. I was pleasantly surprised to see the amount of freedom everyone got to do research within their field of interest. This way our group came up with lots of interesting ideas.

Luckily these new ideas weren’t just written down in a report so they could be judged by some teacher. We actually got to work together with a company called 3DTech. After a meeting and a company visit we started to look into ideas that could be interesting for the company. We had the freedom to propose all kinds of ideas. This combined with the international and interdisciplinary group of students led to lots of cool and innovating ideas as everyone would have a different view on the subject and different sources for information.

In the end we presented our research to the company. They were surprised by our research and very happy with the result. For myself I can say that I am also very happy with the result. For me it was the first time doing a research hatchery but I can say that I learnt a lot from it. The freedom within the project and the diversity of the group are just two of the things that make a Research Hatchery such a successful learning method.

I am very happy to have chosen this course as the skills I have learnt can even be connected to my working life after my studies. If there would be anything I could change, I would only make the duration of the project a bit longer! There was so much interesting stuff to research, but just not enough time for all of it!

I am really happy to have chosen this course and would recommend it to anyone reading this!

Text: Jan Klooster – Exchange Student Automotive Engineering from HAN University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem, Netherlands



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