When we think of inventors, we often imagine the likes of Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell, people from history who have long passed away. But did you know that the inventor of the MP3, one of the most revolutionary inventions of our time, is still alive and living right here in Erlangen? His name is Karlheinz Brandenburg and he invented the MP3 in the late 1980s while working at the Fraunhofer Institute in Erlangen.
During our recent unit on inventors, many of our students were eager to research and learn about famous inventors from the past. However, when they learned that the MP3 was actually invented here in our own city, there was a newfound excitement and local connection to this topic. It was a topic that came up during our knowledge harvest, and it sparked the interest of many students. Yesterday, March 23, Karlheinz Brandenburg visited our school to give a presentation about his invention. Our students learned that Brandenburg came up with the idea of MP3 by accident, while working on a project to compress audio files to save storage space on a CD. This led him to experiment with different methods of compressing music, eventually leading to the development of the MP3 format.
Meeting an inventor in person was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our students. They were able to ask questions and learn about the creative process behind inventing something that has changed the world. It was an inspiring experience that showed them that anyone can be an inventor, and that sometimes the most revolutionary ideas can come from unexpected places.