Improving STEM Education at the Helmholtz Denkfabrik

Helmholtz
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"Dusty" physics, "complicated" biology or chemistry - school teaching must become more attractive, according to the demands of many parents and politicians. That's why the University of Potsdam wants to establish a "Helmholtz Think Tank" to mark the 200th birthday of the ingenius scientist.
In the think tank, the best 20 students from various STEM subjects will work together for at least a year to make science education more exciting by designing experimental skills labs and digital tasks not only for the Helmholtz PhänoMINTa, but also for the (digital) classroom. Throughout his life, Helmholtz envisioned an educational institution where the best researchers would passionately educate their students and inspire an enthusiasm for scientific work. This ideal serves as our model for the establishment of the Helmholtz think tank, whose special structure allows us to create a place where students can freely develop their scientific potential.

How Does the Think Tank Work?

The think tank is a new format within the Deutschlandstipendium program. It offers a flexible framework for addressing the teaching of natural sciences in the digital age from as many perspectives as possible. In the Helmholtz think tank, the classic boundaries between disciplines are dissolved. Biologists, chemists, computer scientists and physicists work together using the method of design thinking to develop miniature experiments that they can try out in in-house student labs and then evaluate together with specialist scientists. Concepts that have been tested and approved are to be integrated into teacher training and in the future - as concrete teaching materials - will be used in schools.

 

How Can I Become a Scholarship Holder of the Think Tank?

How to become a scholarship holder of the think tank?

The call is addressed to Bachelor/Master students as well as teacher-trainees of the following subjects, provided that they demonstrate thematic and methodological interest in the issues and foci of the "Helmholtz Think Tank": Mathematics; Computer Science; Biochemistry and Biology; Chemistry; Earth Sciences; Physics. Interested students apply via the general application form of the Potsdam University Scholarship. An additional essay is required to apply to a think tank, which is uploaded on the application form. When applying for a think tank, students are also applying for the general university scholarship at the same time. Therefore, two separate applications are not necessary. In addition to the general selection criteria of the Potsdam University Scholarship, active participation is required for the think tank scholarship.

Ausschreibung

Call for Applications: Helmholtz Think Tank

Here you can find the call for applications for a place in the Helmholtz think tank.


Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising

„We are particularly proud of our newly developed formats. The promotion and networking of excellent young researchers in thematically focused think tanks puts emphasis on the development of all potentials.“

Supporting Bright Ideas and Minds

We are constantly looking for supporters to help us implement the think tanks. Support 15 students from different disciplines in a think tank with a total of 35,000 euros per year:

  • 15 scholarships of 1,800 euros each (a total of 27,000 euros).
  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany contributes the same amount (matching funds).
  • 8,000 euros will be used for the design of the program, e.g. for BarCamp, "Bergfest" or the presentation of the results

Prof. Dr. Florian J. Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising

„We are particularly proud of our newly developed formats. The promotion and networking of excellent young researchers in thematically focused think tanks puts emphasis on the development of all potentials.“