Press release | Education | 6. May 2016

Offering for refugees at the Berchtesgadener Land Student Research Center: Integration through contents from STEM subjects

The “Integration through STEM” project was launched today at the Berchtesgadener Land Student Research Center. This program, which was developed by the School of Education at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), teaches young refugees the German language using more than just the standard subjects of a language course. The program also delves into STEM content (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).
18 young women and men from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Nigeria are taking part in the first course unit, which will run until the end of July. As part of the lessons, they will learn the German words for numbers and how to do basic arithmetic in the subject of mathematics, for example. In the field of sciences, for instance, an excursion to learn more about the local flora and fauna and an orienteering event with maps and a compass are planned. In addition, the participants will be familiarized with the constitutional values and fundamentals of Germany’s political and social order on the basis of an intercultural approach.
“Our objective was to focus more strongly on making the Student Research Center a place of learning that not only includes mathematics and sciences, but also the social context,” says Professor Kristina Reiss, Dean of the TUM School of Education, which was able to land Siemens Stiftung for the project sponsorship. The “Integration through STEM” project was brought to life by Prof. Peter Hubwieser, who is the head of research at the Berchtesgadener Land Student Research Center.
The Student Research Center is jointly funded by the Berchtesgadener Land district and the TUM. The classes and other groups can learn more about the STEM subjects and immerse themselves in science on course days, in research weeks and in regular clubs.
The second, more advanced part of the course will begin in September 2016. It will enable participants to consolidate the knowledge they have acquired in theory and practice and in direct cooperation with local companies. The aim of that is to make it easier for the young refugees to embark on internships, training and working life and so create the foundation for successful integration.
“The ‘Integration through STEM’ project helps participants develop important language skills and values, as well as acquire basic knowledge in STEM subjects and so improve their future prospects. Thanks to its scientific and technical orientation, the Student Research Center offers an ideal place to learn and so good conditions for successful and interesting studies, which I sincerely wish for all participants,” states County Administrator Georg Grabner.
Professor Dr. Peter Hubwieser
Technical University of Munich
Chair for Didactics of Computer Science
Phone: +49 (89) 289 – 29110

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