Press releases | Education 16.06.2011

2012 Student Competition: Seeking students to protect the environment and climate

Today kicks off this year’s Siemens Stiftung Student Competition in math, science, and technology. The topic is “Climate of excellence – new ideas for environmental and climate protection.” Teachers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and German schools in Europe can register their students online for the competition between now and November 11, 2011. Winners of the competition will be awarded monetary prizes to help finance their education – a total value of around €100,000.

Global environmental problems are increasingly threatening life on earth. The results can be seen all around us in the form of climate change, overexploitation of resources, uninhabitable areas of land, and loss of biological diversity. Which ideas have the potential to counteract these developments? The Siemens Stiftung wants to pass this question on to talented and committed students in its 2012 competition. “Many young people have fairly concrete ideas about environmental and climate protection,” says project director Christa Muehlbauer from the Siemens Stiftung. “We want to motivate them to develop their ideas and, at the same time, strengthen their interest in math, science, and technology.”

Eligible to participate are students in higher grade levels in Germany (grade 10 and up), Austria (upper levels, grade 6 and up), Switzerland (secondary level II), and at German schools in Europe (grade 10 and up). Participating students must be supervised by an instructor. For the competition, students are expected to think of a concrete research question that fits this year’s competition topic and then to answer that question.

Winners are determined through a multi-stage process. After all the submissions are screened, the five best teams from each region will be invited to the semi-finals to present their work at one of the partner universities, RWTH Aachen, TU Berlin, and TU Munich. At each university, juries of prominent scientists then select the top three teams, who will advance to the final in Munich, to be held from March 24 to March 26, 2012.

Students will have a chance to win monetary prizes for a total value of around €100,000. The prize money can only be used for educational purposes and is intended to make it easier for students to carry on with their education. Winners will also join a special tutoring program. Tutors include students in the Siemens scholarship programs TOPAZ and Yolante. They give advice and help answer questions about universities, careers, and internships. All participants in the preliminary rounds are invited to attend open houses at the partner universities.

The registration deadline for the 2012 student competition is November 11, 2011; all entries must be submitted by January 13, 2012.

For more information, please visit


The Siemens Stiftung has been a member of Germany’s National Consortium of Student Competitions (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der bundesweiten Schülerwettbewerbe) since 2011. This consortium promotes participation in educationally meaningful competitions and works with federal and state governments to recognize the importance of competitions as a means of supporting talented students. The consortium recognizes social, intellectual, and scientific competitions that meet clearly defined quality standards. For more information, please visit

The Siemens Stiftung, a nonprofit foundation under German civil law, was founded in the fall of 2008 by Siemens AG. The foundation works with projects to strengthen civil society, particularly in Africa, Latin America and Germany/Europe. Its aim is to make a long-term contribution to reducing poverty and improving education. The foundation operates in three areas: It supports enlarging basic services and improving social structures; initiates educational projects; and helps reflect cultural identities and arts. The over-arching principle for the foundation's work is to help people help themselves. The Siemens Stiftung works in close cooperation with local and international partners as well as in alliance with the other Siemens foundations established by Siemens in Argentina, Brazil, France, Colombia and the United States.