Press releases | Education 16.03.2010

Siemens Stiftung launches donation of 500 experiment kits for kindergartens and preschools in Eastern Europe

Siemens Stiftung donates 500 experiment kits to kindergartens and preschools in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia – presentation of first Discovery Box to preschool in Murska Sobota in Slovenia – child-friendly experiments explore scientific subjects

The Siemens Stiftung is donating 500 experiment kits for kindergartens and preschools in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania and Slovenia. Thus, the Siemens Stiftung is expanding its commitment to early science education to Eastern Europe. On March 10, the initiative got underway in Slovenia: Ulrike Wahl from the Siemens Stiftung board of directors presented the first kit to the preschool in Murska Sobota, with Minister of Education and Sport Dr. Igor Lukšič in attendance. The so-called Discovery Box is filled to the brim with materials and instructions for performing experiments that playfully introduce children to natural phenomena.

The Siemens Stiftung’s Discovery Box stimulates children’s natural curiosity with 22 experiments that teach about energy, electricity, the environment and health. With support from the Siemens Regional Companies in the Eastern European countries, kindergartens and preschools are chosen to receive the boxes. At the presentation in Slovenia, Dr. Igor Lukšič, Minister of Education and Sport, praised the commitment of the Siemens Stiftung as a key factor in improving the scientific and technical education of the youngest minds and thereby investing in the future.
"The Siemens Stiftung is committed to improving educational opportunities worldwide", says Ulrike Wahl, board member of Siemens Stiftung. "Our donation of experiment kits means that kindergartens and preschools in Eastern Europe will now have access to learning materials with which they can discover and foster young scientific talent from an early age."

Children of pre-school age are more open-minded toward natural and technological phenomena than at any subsequent age. Every day, they discover new things that they yearn to test and investigate. The Discovery Box is already being used in preschools and kindergartens in some 30 countries. Building upon this experience around the world, the Siemens Stiftung is now expanding its commitment to early childhood education into Eastern Europe. In 2010, the foundation will present another 100 boxes each to preschools in Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Romania.

About the Discovery Box

The Discovery Box is really two stout wooden boxes, brim full with practically all the materials, equipment and paraphernalia that children and their teachers need to conduct 22 scientific experiments in the areas of energy, electricity, the environment and health. It contains, for example, light bulbs, electric motors, batteries, thermometers, large diagrams of the human body and perforated beakers for reconstructing small-scale water treatment plants. With this experiment kit the Siemens Stiftung also likes to provide preschool teachers with additional materials and know-how. Therefore, instruction aids for teachers are included in the form of a DVD, a fold-out booklet and topic cards in five different languages – English, German, French, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Playful learning
The Discovery Box not only introduces preschool children to the natural sciences. Grouping the different materials and performing and describing the various experiments also enhances the children’s fine motor skills, linguistic abilities and cognitive faculties.

Who has developed the Discovery Box?
The Discovery Box was developed by Science-Lab, Germany, a pioneer in science education for young children. The boxes are built and assembled in a Caritas sheltered workshop in Germany.

Who gets the Discovery Box?
The Discovery Box is being used worldwide within closely defined regional
projects on a larger scale usually together with other non-profit institutions. It is
not meant for sale or for the use by individuals.

The Siemens Stiftung was founded in September 2008 as a charitable foundation constituted under civil law, headquartered in Munich and endowed by Siemens AG with foundation capital of Euro 390m. The Foundation thereby continues the company’s over 160-year tradition of social commitment. The task of the Siemens Stiftung is to find answers to global social challenges, highlight opportunities and provide aid for self-help in emergencies. In line with the Foundation’s mission the focus of its activities are social commitment, education, technology as well as arts and culture. The Siemens Stiftung’s work is largely operational, i.e. it mainly initiates its own projects and implements these.