Hoerbiger News_March 04th, 2024

Jugend forscht 2024

Young Researchers 2024
Schongau (Bavaria), Germany

Brain waves and coffee beans show off student researchers’ talents

Seven young scientists are this year’s regional winners of two national student research competitions sponsored by the HOERBIGER since their inception 20 years ago. From a total of 33 projects, an expert jury chose five projects as winners of the Jugend forscht and Schüler experimentieren competitions in Bavaria’s Voralpenland region. They also presented 44 other awards to young researchers aged 9 to 18.

Jugend forscht (“Young Researchers”) is Germany’s best-known and largest youth competition in science and technology. This year, the event saw 54 young people taking part in the region that includes the town of Schongau, where HOERBIGER Germany has its administrative headquarters. After months of research, tinkering and experimenting they presented their creative ideas to the public on February 28 and 29 under the motto “Get your head around it!”.

“I’m very impressed by your work,” Thomas Englmann, Head of the Automotive Division at HOERBIGER and a member of the Executive Board, told the winners. “You put your heads together. You researched, thought – and thought outside the box. And you dealt with challenging and important topics like the environment. In the automotive business we think every day about how we can save raw materials in production, how our products can reduce CO2 emissions, and what we need to change in order to produce in a more environmentally friendly way.”

From stimulation to simulation

How strong do you like your coffee? 18-year-old Valentin Schwer from Buchloe Gymnasium was the regional winner in the “Working World” category of Jugend forscht with his investigation of whether the density of coffee beans can predict how finely they need to be ground to produce the best espresso. Using a device called a pycnometer to measure density and precisely adjusting the grind, he was able to prove a correlation. 

Kolja Scheiter from Vöhlin Gymnasium in Memmingen, meanwhile, won the category for mathematics or computer science with a computer simulation of the brain. The 18-year-old used a neural network to analyze activity patterns in the brain in response to external stimuli. A hit rate of 93 percent proves that Kolja’s model is robust and reliable.

Five fine winners in Pupils Experiment

In the accompanying Schüler experimentieren (“Pupils Experiment”) competition for younger students, Sophia Clement (13) achieved a regional victory in the biology category with her study on species-appropriate prevention of ticks in meadows in the foothills of the Alps. Sophia, from St. Irmengard-Gymnasium Garmisch-Partenkirchen of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, worked hard for two years to develop and test different methods of repelling and collecting ticks in a small sheep pasture.

Hannes Großhauser won first place in the mathematics and computer science category for his point-and-click puzzle game for PCs and smartphones. The adventure game X-Escape developed by the 14-year-old pupil from Werdenfels Gymnasium in Garmisch-Partenkirchen has already won a prize and will soon be available online.

Saving energy was the focus of Maximilian, Helena and Matilda Winter’s project. The pupils from Wertach elementary school and Hildegardis-Gymnasium Kempten used a model house to try to generate as much energy as possible themselves and make optimum use of available resources. The idea brought the 9-, 11- and 13-year-old siblings a victory in the technology category.

Onward and upward

All the regional winners from the Voralpenland can now go on to compete in the Bavarian state competitions. For the Jugend forscht winners, these will take place from April 10–12 in Vilsbiburg, while the winners in Schüler experimentieren are invited to Regensburg from April 26–27.

“HOERBIGER has sponsored Jugend forscht and Schüler experimentieren for 20 years, supporting the education of our young scientists,” says Dr. Stefan Felber, who heads up the regional competitions in the Alpine foothills. “It’s always great to see how much potential there is in the pupils and how much ambition they put into their projects.”

And beyond the competitions, forward-looking companies know that innovation is important for growth and jobs as well as career satisfaction. “HOERBIGER is a company that is shaped by people and their performance,” says Thomas Englmann. “After all, they are the key to a company’s economic success. We see exactly the same thing with Jugend forscht. The competition is about young people, the next generation. What inspires us is your commitment, your skills, your joy and your success. It’s obvious that we are looking at the researchers of tomorrow, and we want to support them.”

Jugend forscht und Schüler experimentieren 2024

About Jugend forscht

For over four decades, Jugend forscht has encouraged young people with a talent for science. The initiative is backed by the German government, the magazine Stern, industry and schools. The competition is sponsored by the non-profit organization Stiftung Jugend forscht e.V., with the Federal President as patron. There are two age categories in the competition: pupils up to the age of 14 compete in the junior category Schüler experimentieren, and participants up to the age of 21 in the Jugend forscht category.


HOERBIGER has sponsored Jugend forscht and Schüler experimentieren since 2005. The Group is active worldwide in the energy sector, the process industry, the automotive industry, the mechanical engineering industry, safety technology and the electrical industry. HOERBIGER sets standards through innovations in attractive technological niche markets, creating high-quality unique selling propositions with sustainable customer benefits.