This year, I’m really the so-called “old hen” of the project. I had the honor of participating in last year’s project, which set the bar high in terms of expectations; however, this wasn’t a problem this year! It is really amazing how different projects can be and how many new things you can learn, mostly through mistakes that you make. This happened especially on things that I didn’t realize were so complex, be it compiling questionnaires, analysis, etc. I have to say that we mastered all of the challenges in the best possible way and it is great to see how each person’s characteristics brought us to these good results. Thank you to a top team, Pilot and naturally, our excellent lab director, who always had nerves of steel :-). Thank you for a wonderful time filled with educational experiences, training in perseverance and if nothing else, fun!


I had such a great time working on this project for the past (nearly) five months! I think it’s fascinating, how an idea can evolve into such a great project through each person’s commitment, and especially, how it can produce such great results. At the beginning, I never would have thought that so much work and such exact plans would be necessary to get this project on its feet. I saw how small details that, at first, seemed rather trivial, can almost shape an entire project. But after we finished organizing the project and could really start in the House of Nature, it was a lot of fun. I can honestly say that the free time that this project took was a very good investment. We had a really outstanding team and it was really great to be able to participate.


Researching over 400 DNA samples on 3 point mutations in the school laboratory, conducting perception tests with stevia and aronia with over 400 people, creating questionnaires, improving them, analyzing the oodles of statistical data: impossible to carry out in a school, predicted experienced teachers. A 25 student team also taught me a lesson. Every individual, every single one, brought his or her strengths and talents to the project. From the beginning, ordinary setbacks such as DNA probes of the wrong design or an imperfect questionnaire could not shake them. Tirelessly, they fought on until they were successful. Team spirit, cohesion, motivation, joy, enthusiasm, commitment, fun, friendship, willingness to learn, goal orientation are words that immediately come to mind when I think back on this project. If I was lacking in motivation, the team set me straight. Super. Thank you for that. Truly a dream team!!
I am particularly pleased that our laboratory director Michael with his know-how came back to Ursprung. During his school days in 2002, he participated in a GBT project.


This year, I was one of the “old folks” in the project, because I had already participated last year in Ursprung’s GBT project. So, I brought a lot of experience and expectations. When I joined (a little late) the new project, I was a little skeptical at the beginning, because I hardly new the majority of the new, younger team members. I was even more surprised then, when I realized after our first collaboration that all of the members had simply cool personalities with who I would have a lot of fun.


When I heard about the project idea, I was thrilled. In the course of our work, I found out how exciting and interesting the project really was. Our tasks were very varied and we always had incentive to dig deeper into the material in order to really understand everything. What I really liked were the interviews and the resulting contact with the people, who only partly knew all that can be found out through DNA analysis. Others had no idea about this issue and we were able to give them a lot of information. Because I am a self-proclaimed “lab rat”, I was very excited for the analysis of the different DNA samples. It was a great experience to work with my classmates to get a really fascinating project on its feet. And that we also had a lot of fun was just SUPER. :-)


A fantastic project!!!!

It really influenced me. It was great that from an initial idea such a tremendous project could result, when you think how many mistakes and how much work was needed to get to the end results. It was really cool that over the course of the project new possibilities and ideas continually appeared. Each one of us gave his or her best and rose to the challenge. We grew together as a team and made the nearly impossible possible, so to speak. I would participate in such a project again in a heartbeat. You can see things that you will not see so quickly again. And who would have thought before the project that three men (devil) could bake a cake and make a pudding that tasted so good.

So, anything is possible = SteviAron!!!  cool


I can only say that this project was borderline brilliant!!!! We began from almost nothing and continuously worked on it. When some mistakes happened, we resolved them fairly by working together. I thought it was cool that everyone could contribute their ideas to the project. We were able to implement most of these ideas and were for the most part allowed make the decision to do so ourselves. In doing so, this project became an entirely student project!! I also thought it was cool that I could participate in almost every aspect of the project, beginning with the test taking and analysis in the DNA laboratory, through the product development and cake baking :-). And the most important part, of course, was that the fun never stopped!!!


This project awoke my desire to research something new. I really enjoyed not only working in the laboratory and analyzing the subsequent results, but also questioning people about the project and taking their DNA samples. .

The cohesion of our excellent team also played an important role in the success of this project. It is always important to work with people with whom you really get along well. And this, thank God, was certainly the case with us.

I think that we mastered this project, led by Mr. Steiner, and hopefully also made it successful.


Insane project, that still fascinates me with its complexity and genius. With the main task of looking after the aronia plants, I was given a lot of responsibility. I tackled it as best as I could. In addition, I also got laboratory experience that I was able to complete successfully. The idea and execution of this project were excellent.


I learned a bunch of new things from this project. I learned things not only for school and for in the laboratory, but also life skills. Our teacher always kept us focused on the goal and gave us the confidence that we could do anything if we had perseverance, commitment and team spirit. Holidays, Sunday evenings and free afternoons never prevented us from diving into our project :-). I was really fascinated by the ambition and the teamwork. The work atmosphere was really great, because I felt that I wasn’t being watched over by a teacher, like in school, but instead treated like a partner. And the fun never stopped. ;)


In this project, I was most impressed by the great teamwork of my classmates. Although there were often differences of opinion, including, for example, the choice of the project name, we became more and more unified.
A key factor was our very dedicated teacher, who was able to motivate us again and again. You could rely on each team member 100%, which made our work much easier. The work on the project was a lot of fun and explained to me what you can do with human DNA. I never regretted taking part in this project.


This year, we were finally allowed to take part in the gene and biotechnology project. When it was decided what we wanted to do and everything that went along with it, I was immediately hooked. Above all, it was brilliant that we took our project to the House of Nature and collected samples there. The analysis of the DNA, the conducting of interviews and the painting of the roll-up are among my personal highlights. The team members couldn’t have been more different, but I think that this is what made us a team. Each person had his or her own unique strengths and that served us well. We became friends and had a lot of fun together! During hard times, there was always someone else to take the reins.

Many thanks to our lab director Michael Gademaier (a graduate of a GBT project in 2002), who made a lot possible. Much praise to the whole team. I had a really great time. :-)


Since I was allowed to participate for the first time in the GBT project this year and had heard only positive things about it, I was very excited. I wondered, what work I would get to do. When I heard about the idea for the project, I was immediately convinced and thrilled. From the beginning, it was clear to me that this wonderful idea would bear fruit. I think that a very good team was formed. Everyone was happy to help each other out - we all pursued the same goal.

This complex project has been a truly enriching experience for me. We all worked with enthusiasm and seriousness, but the fun never stopped (keyword: dry ice battle :-)). At the beginning, we had a few setbacks, but that’s science. We would definitely not have given up. It was even more of a reason to push on even harder, which we did very well. All in all, an awesome project.


When we heard about this year’s project, we were all immediately totally excited. This year, it was our turn to face a challenge. A question was posed to us how tastes can relate to genes. However, I had some doubts about it: the school, the project...everything was an extreme amount of work. But then it was regulated, as if by itself. We were each allowed to pick the area in which we wanted to work. The opportunities offered to us were really super and allowed us to take hold of our project and achieve such great results. When our week at the House of Nature began, we were all very excited about how our project would be received by the public. It was very interesting to observe how people take sides on the topic of DNA and genes. Some treated it with much caution, while others didn’t seem to care. As previously explained, some people had some funny reasons for not donating their DNA. There were some long hours, in which we thought about how the samples have to be mixed or why this or that result didn’t add up. But during this time the whole team worked together and we found a solution, in spite of all of our desperation (and sometimes lack of motivation). I am really very happy to have taken part in this project. It was a great time of joy and desperation, often at the same time. The work was really exciting and interesting, and fun was never in short supply. All of the doubts that we initially had disappeared into the thin air. I have no regrets having participated in this project at all.


What I find so great about our project is that we were able to experience how to conduct a research project right at school. There were highlights, chores and setbacks. We learned how to work independently, how to take on responsibility and how to work in a team. You need all of these later in life. Above all, we gathered experience for future university studies. What other schools offer their students the opportunity to work with qPCRs with TagMan-DNA probes? Personally, I enjoyed the data collection at the house of Nature the best. I found it fascinating to talk directly with people about such a complex topic and to ask for their opinions.

Summary: It was an incredibly cool project.

Bernhard Sampl:

I had always thought that genetic engineering would only seek to create new creatures. After this project, I know the diverse range of opportunities that this technology offers. In spite of our setbacks (such as the first DNA analysis with FRET probes), we continued to be motivated and to find the positive in every problem. We owe the successful completion of the project to the excellent organizational work of Mr. Steiner. Many things were made possible, such as the work with the qPCR, the laboratory and the many courses, e.g. about films and editing films. During these months, we all learned a lot about project work. I think that this project will benefit our careers in many ways.

I think that the most important things that we learned are about how to use these technologies in a practical way, and how to explain the aspects of danger and risks associated with these technologies.


This year’s project was really brilliant. When we heard about this project, no one knew how much work, but also how many interesting things it would entail. I learned a lot in these months, when the project was in full swing, particularly on lab days, when we were allowed to analyze the taste gene TAS2R38 on 3 SNPs. The tasks were allocated well. No one had (way) too much work and a good team emerged from it.

It was a great experience. In spite of some initial mistakes, but we were successful and had a lot of fun.


This year was my second time participating in the GBT project. I really enjoyed working on the previous year’s project. Since we began in November with school, we began working with our lab mates later. When I heard about the topic of this year’s project, I was immediately taken with the idea, because a part of the project also has to do with agriculture. I enjoyed the project work and collecting the samples at the House of Nature.


When I first heard about this year’s project, I was immediately excited. I knew that I had to participate. However, I also had some doubts whether I would have enough time left over for regular school work, but this fear was unfounded. As we divided the team into various “Task forces”, I knew right away what I wanted to do and signed up for the “Film Task Force”. Our film and interview coach, Harry Russegger, taught us everything very well, so that we were calm and well prepared for the action. The week at the House of Nature was a highlight for me. It was exciting to work with so many different types of people and to hear the different opinions of the visitors. All in all, I can say that I am happy to have taken part in this project. The work was funny, interesting and exciting and every minute was worth it. I learned a lot not only about the theme itself, but also about how to best handle foreigners.


I was fascinated by the collaboration of our team. We are all such different students, but were still able to pull it all together. I liked designing the roll-ups for our stand the best. In this work, there was no limit to our creativity and this ultimately came through in our finished product. Other highlights for me include the interviews at the House of Nature and Harry’s crazy ideas. Every one of us benefited from this project, because with this knowledge and these wonderful experiences, we learned something new. That we implemented this brilliant idea still impresses me, but it never would’ve been possible without this great team and super direction! (:


SteviAron is the second project that I’ve participated in. To be honest, I thought at the beginning that it couldn’t hold a candle to last year’s project. I gradually got to know the project better and have been excited since the work at the House of Nature. And when you can proudly look at the statistics of the nearly 400 analyzed samples, you have to admit it was another great project!

Dios - Dionys:

I was really enthusiastic about this project. It interested me for several reasons.

First, of course, there was the theme of the project. I would have never imagined that our taste perception is stored on genes and that these significally affect our consumption of certain foods. Secondly, I was fascinated with the construction of such a project: How these results can come about in terms of know-how, commitment or financial means. The cool thing about this special project was that it was so multi-layered. We analyzed our genes in relation to stevia and finally the “miracle plant” aronia (which I had more to do with than anything), etc. Besides this, I also learned a lot through my task as photographer. It is not always easy to capture the best moments, but I did my best.

Thank you for these wonderful experiences!


Although I have now participated in a gene and bio-technology elective at the school for a second time, I was as excited as the first time: for the idea, the joy of my classmates and our end product, which is impressive for a school and also for the young people taking part in the project. Like last year, we were able to learn a lot and in spite of my work in the background, I am very proud of our results.


We are now far into our project and I am writing a statement, which pretty much means the end of the project work. Imbued with enthusiasm and the love of work, we began our project. At the beginning, we suffered grave setbacks (false laboratory results, mistakes mixing), that for the most part, brought us closer together and gave us the will to do better on the second try. We were already told in advance that it would be a lot of work to participate in this project. But researching with friends and finding out new things didn’t feel like work; on the contrary, it gave me immense pleasure. Because the project was so multifaceted, everyone could use their special skills and do what they thought they could do well and what was fun. I liked how we approached the project the best. We made every decision together and discussed each suggestion and mistake at length. Mr. Steiner showed us what is important when working with a project of this magnitude. I was amazed at how important the small things are for such a project (checklists, assigning people responsibilities,...). Finally, I am proud to have worked on this project and look forward to the future of genetic engineering.


Since the second grade, when we had to be content with “only” theory classes, I could hardly wait until I was finally in the third grade and able to take part and fiddle around in the big project. My anticipation and expectations were very high, but I wasn’t disappointed in the least. It was a terrific project and still is, although we had to deal with all possible more or less serious difficulties. Or maybe it was exactly for this reason, because not everything went as planned. Thanks to our project leader Mr. Steiner, who always knew the right time to motivate us. We didn’t let our problems get us down and worked with even more determination toward our goal. In addition, we were an unusually large group of genetic engineers and sometimes, someone was overlooked. However, we managed to form a close working and goal-oriented team with the most different characters, which I think is a great achievement. We formed a close-knit team relatively quickly and were able to work together from the beginning on without any problems. We really learned a lot with regard to teamwork and project work as well as a lot about the techniques and theories behind our project’s topic. The fact that we came to the school to work on our project on holidays, during vacation or on the weekends especially shows, in my opinion, that we put our hearts in it.


In general, I like projects in which students can complete a crazy project with the help of a teacher. For this, I have to thank Pilot for not letting up until it was “perfect” and for always motivating us. It gave our school an extremely good reputation. I enjoyed working on the various areas of the project (e.g. in the laboratory and House of Nature). In my opinion, this work helped build character and gave us valuable experiences that we can draw upon later in life. Additionally, during such projects, the competition among the various branches of the school diminished. I also thought it was nice to work together with so many students from different Austrian provinces. I think this project has been a great success.

Michael A. G.:

When Mr. Steiner asked me last summer if I would like to help with a school project in Ursprung about taste and direct the DNA laboratory, I had trouble imagining such a project. But that changed very quickly. At the beginning, we had to accept many setbacks (the wrong DNA probes, etc.), but these problems were swept out of the way early enough. Thanks to the hard work of the students (here I would especially like to thank Simone, who really supported me in the lab), we were able to get 419 DNA samples and with these, over 1500 qPCR reactions within a half of a week. I’m really happy that all of the students were so committed to the cause! And of course, it was special for me, an Ursprung graduate (class of 2004), to work again on a GBT project after all these years.

Stockinger Markus:

Even during my school days in Ursprung, I was allowed to work on Pilot's projects and was able to technically implement ideas to the best of my knowledge. I now have my own IT company and was able to give the students one of my tools that I perfected for three years for their projects. The project WIKI is now a well-functioning tool to organize information, processes and communication within the team.
Functions that today are natural to the user, earlier caused massive programming problems, but recently through intensive communication more improvements in the handling of the systems were able to be implemented.
With each completed project, I look forward to the new challenges that the next school year will bring.

Gappmaier Wolfgang:

I was very pleased to be invited to take part in the project. On the one hand, the project topic is very interesting. On the other hand, I was able to, as a student, participate in Konrad Steiner’s first project at the school. Back then, I was impressed by the interdisciplinary work of the project’s topic of “Genetic Engineering in the School” under the supervision of scientists and by the work with devices from university-level research. The experiences that I had were important for me after my time in school. Nearly every project requires the cooperation of different experts to achieve satisfactory results. This also goes hand in hand with the certain potential for conflict. If the ability to work together is promoted at school, then this is a great advantage for future projects in the working world.

Daniela Sonnleitner (Graphic Designer):

I have now been assigned for the second time to graphically jazz up the excellent reports of the students of the HLFS Ursprung under Dr. Konrad Steiner. Even though, as a graphic designer, I only understand the content on the surface, I still think it is exciting to realise this work together with students. In previous years, I was delighted to witness how the students approach this “school project” with such commitment. It is great that young people can get excited about such topics. It is important to promote such interests and, therefore, it was not hard for me to support the students free of charge.

Roman Gerold (Proofreader):

It has continued to be a real pleasure to help with report for a HLFS Ursprung GBT project. I am, so to speak, the first one to test the comprehensiveness of the text, take note of wording, clean up sentences and attend to spelling and grammar. It is a joy, because each time I learn a lot of new things about the field of natural science. HLFS project reports were, more than once, the cause for long evenings reading Wikipedia. As one who always shudders a little bit when hearing terms such as “DNA databanks” and “design flavors”, I think the ethical reflections of the Ursprung students are especially great! My absolute favorite chapter is the one with the statements of the students, because here each student can use his or her own words and I can really feel the motivation and enthusiasm that makes my work so meaningful.