The graduate figures in the subjects of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology (collectively known as the ‘MINT’ subjects) may have risen in recent years, but they are still a long way from meeting current needs. The need for more specialists is still in great demand. For this reason, the ‘Haus der kleinen Forscher’ initiative is focussed on getting children excited about these topics. The patron for the initiative is the German Federal Minister for Education, Johanna Wanka.
Along with Beiersdorf AG, the Phorms Campus Hamburg is a cooperation partner of the initiative in Hamburg, with the immersive bilingual nursery and school placing great emphasis on natural sciences. Two members of the local network ‘Kleine Forscher Hamburg’, Dr Bettina Schmidt and Sabine Stüttgen, have their offices on campus. From there, they aim to step up further training of nursery staff and teachers in Hamburg. “The idea behind the ‘Haus der kleinen Forscher’ is to pick up on questions children might have and support them in their discovery,” explains Dr Bettina Schmidt. Michael Fritz, Chairman of the foundation’s Executive Board, adds: “The pedagogical concept of Phorms begins with the statement, ‘this is where children and youths learn to understand the world’. We share the same goal, which is why we’re pursuing it together. We know that we're stronger when we cooperate rather than going it alone. The ‘Haus der kleinen Forscher’ is very grateful to Phorms Hamburg for the support we have had from Campus Hamburg.”
LETTING CHILDREN DISCOVER FOR THEMSELVES
At Phorms Campus Hamburg the children can research and experiment for themselves. “With this, we are aiming to make a long-term contribution to the next generation in the relevant professional fields,” says Dr Karl-Heinz Korsten, the school’s headmaster. As a biology and chemistry teacher with a PhD, getting children interested in natural sciences is a project very close to his heart. Communication is a central topic of the Germany-wide Haus der kleinen Forscher initiative. “That makes it an excellent match for us, because we are an immersive, bilingual nursery and school, and digitalisation plays such an important part for us,” adds Dr Karl-Heinz Korsten. Every classroom is fitted with an interactive whiteboard, which teachers and students can use to do research on the Internet and make use of programmes. All students also have access to their own laptops. In Year 2, the students also work on a tablet PC.
So far, more than 30,000 educators have benefited from further training offered by the initiative.