Press releases | Education 22.03.2017

"STEM and Values” conference: Targeted increase value creation for kids in the classroom

STEM and Values
The conference “STEM and Values – How Values Can Be Taught in Schools” will bring together education policymakers, academics and practitioners for a multi-perspective discussion.

• “STEM and Values - How Values Can Be Taught in Schools” conference under the patronage of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs on March 27 in Munich

• Over 100 education researchers, teachers, politicians, and school representatives discuss new concepts and develop new practical approaches

• Current survey: 85 percent of Germans believe that schools should increase targeted value creation for children and youths

On March 27, 2017, Siemens Stiftung will host an interdisciplinary and multifaceted conference. Over 100 education researchers, politicians, and representatives working in the field will come together in Munich to discuss how building values can be achieved in the classroom. In times of digitalization, individualization, and heterogeneity, what are the expectations of scholastic value creation? How do we strengthen attitudes, competence, and engagement in young people so they can help shape our society in a responsible way? The goal of the conference is to push this topic to the forefront of the political debate, anchor the necessity of value-building in science and technology subjects, and intensify their pedagogical and didactic practical application. The conference is taking place under the patronage of the of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology as a partner.

“Growing diversity and a shifting values are characteristic of our modern society. We therefore need a deeper understanding of questions pertaining to values. The unique methods found in science and technology education offer great potential for building values,” said Dr. Nathalie von Siemens, Siemens Stiftung Managing Director and Spokesperson. “When children and youths reflect upon and evaluate the interaction between science, technology, and society, it builds values such as a sense of responsibility, working as a team, solidarity, tolerance, or environmental awareness. We want to support this with new concepts and approaches.”

Current survey: Expand value creation to STEM subjects

The importance of building values in the classroom is supported by a population-representative survey, commissioned by Siemens Stiftung and conducted in February 2017. According to the survey, 85 percent of Germans believe schools should more actively pursue value creation for children and youths. Around two-thirds believe it is important to expand value creation to science and technology subjects, alongside similar lessons that already exist in ethics and religion.

Conference: Interactive formats encourage lively exchange

The conference will be opened by Dr. Nathalie von Siemens. In her introduction, she explains why Siemens Stiftung pursues building values in STEM subjects. Prof. Dr. Manfred Prenzel, education researcher and former chair of the German Council of Science and Humanities, discusses the potential and risks of progress in science and technology, and the resulting societal responsibility, in his presentation.

In a panel discussion, Prof. Dr. Schubarth of the University of Potsdam, Prof. Dr. med. Hans-Jochen Heinze of the University Hospital of Neurology Magdeburg, Prof. Dr. Monika Keller of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, and Prof. em. Dr. Hans Bertram of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin will address creating values for children and youths.

In the afternoon, interactive focus groups provide the opportunity to discuss tried and tested concepts and approaches for creating values in science and technology subjects. This includes methods of value creating in collective experimentation, approaches for inclusive experimental lessons, value creating with the form of instruction and learning known as of Service-Learning, and the possibilities presented using Serious Games.

A concluding podium discussion opens the debate on concrete action required for successful value creating in STEM subjects. Teachers, school representatives, and participants in the conference will join scientists and educational policy experts in the discussion.

The prestigious education expert and journalist Lothar Guckeisen will moderate the conference.

Interview opportunities and live coverage

Dr. Nathalie von Siemens and Prof. Dr. Manfred Prenzel are available for interviews as part of the conference. Further information on the conference and live coverage of the event using Twitter can be found at:

Event information

When: March 27, 2017, 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Where: Gaszählerwerkstatt, Agnes-Pockels-Bogen 6, 80992 Munich