Press releases | Education 12.09.2013

Of magic numbers, water purification, and foam fire extinguishers: The Siemens Stiftung media portal launches the new 2013/14 school year with new teaching materials.

© Siemens Stiftung

The new and revised media available to teachers through the online media portal to kick off the 2013/14 school year are interdisciplinary, up to date and internally differentiated. The “Magic Squares” interactive whiteboard package for primary schools shows how you can convey mathematical relationships while teaching German, art, or history. An updated media package on water and humanitarian aid offers facts and figures on global drinking water resources and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Worksheets with incremental hints help teachers approach each student according to his or her unique needs and learning pace. Teachers can download these and some 4,500 other digital teaching materials for free from www.medienportal.siemensstiftung.org

The Siemens Stiftung media portal ushers in the new school year with a range
of new teaching materials for primary and secondary school teachers.

Learning math in primary school
What do the witches’ formula from Goethe’s Faust, Durer’s copper engraving Melencolia I, and tortoises have in common? They all deal with magic squares – arrangements of numbers in a square grid where the numbers in each row, column, and diagonal add up to the same total. This total is also called a “magic number.” The new content package for interactive whiteboards entitled “Magic Squares” uses magic squares to help primary school kids learn to think mathematically – by recognizing patterns and structures, for example. Children discover the relationships on their own when they crack encrypted squares, calculate magic numbers, or make their own magic squares. This teaches the youngsters basic arithmetic and gives them new insights into mathematics. “Magic squares” are the stuff of legend, and they often appear in works of art.
This offers many interdisciplinary cross-references to German, history, and art that make for exciting lesson plans, even in primary schools.

Water-related media updated
The Siemens Stiftung media portal, in addition to offering a fresh perspective on statistics, also seeks to keeps its own facts and figures up to date. The online platform excels through its ability to adapt freely to the needs of teachers and students. The media package “Humanitarian aid – drinking water filters in use” for secondary school geography and social studies was recently updated. The materials provide data on the global scarcity of drinking water and its effects on meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Other waterthemed materials are being updated on a rolling basis.

Tasks with incremental hints
Sometimes we all need a little help to correctly interpret complex information and perform complex tasks. The new worksheets that offer tasks with incremental hints help teachers tailor their instruction to the specific needs of their kids. The goal of the new media is to motivate and engage the slower children by offering practical interim successes.

The eleven assignments deal with issues ranging from foam fire extinguishers to freeze-drying. The incremental assistance consists of simple tips, interim questions, and additional information that the students can obtain when they’re stuck.

Materials are available in German, with select media available in English as well.

Details on the media portal can be found at: www.siemens-stiftung.org/mediaportal

Images available at: www.siemens-stiftung.org/press-pictures/mediaportal/material

About the media portal

The Siemens Stiftung media portal helps education professionals and volunteers prepare and present a contemporary classroom experience. The portal currently features more than 4,500 media relating to science, technology, ecology, society, and culture. These include individual media such as interactive whiteboard files, graphics, experimentation instructions, and worksheets as well as thematically grouped media packages. The media are available for free download in English, German, and Spanish. The user interface is also available in these three languages. Visit the media portal at www.medienportal.siemens-stiftung.org

 

ENCOURAGE. empowering people. The Siemens Stiftung wants to empower people to actively address today’s social challenges and is dedicated to the values of Werner von Siemens. Together with partners, the foundation designs and implements local and international projects with the aim of promoting individual responsibility and self-initiative. The foundation is committed to enlarging basic services and social entrepreneurship, promoting education and strengthening of culture. The Siemens Stiftung pursues an integrative approach and stands for responsible, impact-oriented and innovative project