Tangible Experiments: Combining Theory and Practice in MINT Studies

In the interdisciplinary project ‘Be-greifen’ studio klv researches novel applications of human-technology interfaces. The joint project initiated by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) asks the question: How can innovative forms of interaction that integrate digital information into the real world help to communicate the complex learning materials of the MINT subjects (mathematics, computer science, natural and technical sciences) in an understandable way? As planners of science centres, interactive exhibitions and extracurricular learning sites, we bring our practical experience to the table in order to find new didactic approaches that will inspire young people to explore these topics. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Experiments with AR and Tangibles

The idea of the project is to convey the theoretical basics of scientific experiments no longer only in the form of books. Instead, augmented reality glasses and tangible objects can serve as user interfaces that illustrate topics in interactive experiments. There is a high potential in this human-technology interaction to make connections easier to grasp. For example, we have developed an AR air cushion table and a thermal experiment in this form of interaction.

Interactive air cushion table and thermal experiment

At first, the users experiment with their hands in a classic way. But while they are experimenting, AR glasses provide them with additional information that would otherwise not be visible. For example, they can see through the glasses how warm the test objects are during the heat test and how the heat transport takes place. All information can be experienced in real time. In addition, the glasses can provide feedback on learning progress.

The prototype of the AR air cushion table is located at the TU Kaiserslautern, where students carry out various experiments as part of their physics studies. For the Science Center Dynamikum in Pirmasens we have developed a more robust version: Here, a two-dimensional display on a screen replaces the sensitive glasses.

Partner of the project

In addition to DFKI and studio klv, partners of the research project are the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, the Institute for Philosophy and the Institute for Visualization and Interactive Systems (VIS) of the University of Stuttgart, xCon Partners GmbH (Ubimax), which specializes in AR software and wearable computing devices, and the Embedded Systems Academy GmbH (EmSA).


Conception and scenography

  • Development of interactive exhibits

Design and planning

  • Exhibit development

Contact person

Bernhard Kehrer

Executive Management