I play with different educational manipulatives for a living. (Visit www.weirdrichard.com). Part of my job is to attend fan conventions and places that use manipulatives.
I attended the 2008 fischertechnik Convention in Moershausen, Germany!
For those of you who do not know, fischertechnik (known as "ft" to fans) is an awesome hobbyist manipulative produced in Waldactal Germany. In general, fts are made of hard nylon, and use a "channel-and-groove" connection system.
The variety of things you can construct with ft is impressive.
Here is a link to a short film (~30 minutes) put together by the ft community:
If you want to see the things these guys can build, watch this film!
Step 1: WHAT and WHY:
There are several fischertechnik fan club events, but the fischertechnik Convention in Moershausen Germany is the one of the best gatherings of ft fans and models in the world. Morshausen is "THE" annual meeting of ft fans in Germany. It is a chance to see awesome projects and meet some of the world's leading fischertechnik artists. It is one of those undiscovered jewels for the world traveler.
If you are a fischertechnik fan, attending the convention in Moershausen should be a high priority! ft fans show off their most incredible creations!
Several libraries of projects:
(Please check these out!)
Moershausen itself is a beautiful village. Of course, a visit to Moershausen can be part of a larger trip! For example, Homberg (Efze) is nearby.
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homberg_(Efze) Wikipedia Entry:]
Homberg's official site:
Step 2: WHEN and WHERE:
Typically the fischertechnik convention takes place in September, and the precise dates are published at www.ftcommunity.de.
This year, the Convention took place on Saturday 9/20/08. Dedicated ft fans (who refer to themselves as "freaks") gathered on Sunday 9/21/08 at Haus Hildegard.
The ft Convention has been hosted in Moershausen Homberger Germany, a small village in northern Hesse. Moershausen was chosen as the location for its central location, as attendees visit from across Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The Convention is held in the fire station/communal village house.
One recommendation I received, is to fly into Frankfurt am Main (FFM), then travel by train with Deutsche Bahn (bahn.de) from the Airport to "Wabern (Bz Kassel)". (via Kassel-Wilhelmshohe) The Wabern train station is around 10-15 km away from the exhibition. Convention attendees have been willing to pick up visitors at the train station.
Step 3: COST and INFORMATION:
Admission is free! The public is invited all day Saturday!
General questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch for forum postings at: http://www.fischertechnik.de/de/fanclub/forum/
Although the area is rural, there are several places to stay.
Check out :
The pensions are good at finding space for out-of-town travelers, even if they are filled to capacity.
Another good resource: