Projects for schools

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We give pupils the chance to find out about engineering and to widen their horizons.

Day and term projects at school

Project week at the ETH Zurich

Day and term projects at school

We use the materials allocation and the technical know-how from our Autonomous Systems Lab to support teachers wanting to offer practically-oriented teaching. The project aims to increase the pupils’ knowledge of the MINT subjects (Mathematics, IT, Natural sciences and Technology) through various themes in Robotics.

These projects are suitable for pupils aged 10 and over. They are supervised by schoolteachers and students of the ETH Zurich during the project; the ETH Zurich also supplies some of the required technical material. As the quantity of material is limited and the demand great, the time frame for a project must be agreed individually.

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Programming Thymio-Robots

This project introduces the pupils to robotics. After discussion of the task (e.g. the labyrinth) and a short explanation, the pupils embark on programming the Thymio-Robot.


Group size: 2 pupils per robot (max. number of participants to be agreed)

Material: The robots can be lent out by the ETH Zurich

Necessary tuition time: 2 hours minimum


Thymio Robot light show


Pupils solder, build and style their own DanceBot, which can then be controlled by an MP3 player. After the course, the robots can be taken home; the Dance Moves are easily programmable on a Windows PC, and an in-built loudspeaker makes the accompanying sounds.

Group size: 1 pupil per robot (max. 30 in total)

Material: The building kit can be supplied by the ETH Zurich

Tuition time necessary: 1.5 to 2 days


Robot-Fish Naníns

Here the pupils discover the Nanins – systems building kits for creating robots which swim underwater. Each group chooses a fish species and designs the fins so that after laser-cutting the robot behaves like its natural counterpart.

Group size: 3 pupils per robot (max. 24)

Material: The robots may be borrowed

Tuition time necessary: 10 days x 2 hours


Energy in- and around the home

What consumes energy at home and how is energy generated? Pupils first have to consider this question. Thereafter, it’s all hands on work: pupils are divided into groups and work on a small project which contributes to a larger one (e.g. an elevator or a garage door). Pupils use Lego and Lego Mindstorms NXT as building materials, and LabVIEW to programme their work. In this way, pupils learn about energy consumption and how to use energy carefully and efficiently.  

Group size: 8 to 20 pupils

Material: Lego and Lego Mindstorms NXT, and LabVIEW can be supplied by the department.

Tuition time necessary: 7 days x 1.5 hours

Alternative energy – Cable car project

The pupils address the theme of alternative energy and build and automate a cable car during the project. Lego and Lego Mindstorms NXT are used to build the cable car, and LabVIEW to programme it. Lego-Solar cells, -Wind und –Waterwheel are applied and their efficiency examined. In this way, pupils become aware of alternative energy and energy consumption issues.

Group size: 8 to 20 pupils

Material: Lego and Lego Mindstorms NXT, and LabVIEW can be supplied by the department.

Tuition time necessary: 7 days x 1.5 hours

Robot theatre

Pupils write a theatre piece in which the robot butler, Igor, plays a part! 

Group size: circa 14 pupils

Material: by arrangemen

Tuition time necessary: to be agreed

Description (304 KB)

Project week at the ETH Zurich

Students and science workers supervise pupils (16 to 19 years old) and help them apply their school knowledge to a given project over 4 or 5 days. During the problem solving process, the pupils demonstrate keen interest, drive and stamina – and joy! They get a real impression of the work of an engineer.

We currently have no more available weeks. But please let us know if you are interested, so that we can try to arrange something else.

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Engineering Week "Robot-Fish Naníns"

This week is all about developing engineering solutions to the movement of machines in water and underwater. The Naníns are underwater robots which have a new type of propulsion, inspired by nature. The focus during the week is on validating ideas; through simulation, models, prototype testing and realistic applications.


Engineering Week "Injection simulator"

Administering a spinal anaesthetic is a challenge for medical students in their practical work. To offer them better practice opportunities, the pupils build, control and evaluate a new injection simulator. The pupils simulate inserting the needle on a model. They acquire the necessary knowledge through various modules during the week.

Definition of the project (PDF, 280 KB)

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