Nota de prensa | Educación 07.11.2013

Educational program Experimento starts in Germany with new seminars for educators at primary schools

© Siemens Stiftung, Fotograf: Werner Meyer

What is needed to make a bulb light up? That question kindles not only curiosity about the relationship between science and technology among children, but will also occupy primary school teachers from North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate and Bavaria in Würzburg on November 7 and 8, 2013. The selected educators will be trained as Experimento | 8+ multipliers at the two-day seminar. The objective is for them to subsequently use their new knowledge to hold further training courses in Experimento for teachers from surrounding primary schools. Experimento is an international educational program of the Siemens Stiftung which aims to ­teach and convey sciences in a practical and true-to-life way and arouse interest in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) among children and youngsters.

Experimento | 8+ for 8- to 12-year-olds comprises just under 50 different experiments on the topics of energy, environment and health. The Siemens Stiftung supports the experimentation materials and instructions, as well as further training: Apart from the new seminars for primary school teachers, there will again be further training courses for educators at secondary schools at the Experimento centers in the 2013/2014 school year.

“Discover, explore, explain”

That is the guiding theme behind the Experimento educational program. On the basis of the principle of discovery-based learning, the Siemens Stiftung together with an expert team of teachers and education experts developed three experiment kits that build upon one another for the age groups 4-7 (Experimento | 4+), 8-12 (Experimento | 8+) and 10-18 (Experimento | 10+). The kits contain experimentation materials comprising as far as possible simple and inexpensive everyday objects, such as tin foil and clothes-pegs. Age-appropriate experimentation instructions encourage children to record their ideas, observations and­ results. The educational concept for Experimento | 8+ focuses on letting the young researchers share notes and reflect consciously on the learning process – for example, experiments are documented with pictures and photos.

"Experimento can be employed from preschool to graduation and follows the principle of building on what the children and young people have already learnt," explains Dr. Barbara Filtzinger, Head of Unit Education at the Siemens Stiftung. "We want to thus keep the interest in scientific topics alive for many years to come."

From educators for educators

Eight teachers will be trained as multipliers in Würzburg on November 7 and 8, 2013. They will then introduce colleagues from surrounding schools into the world of Experimento as part of modular further training courses. Experimento multiplier Peter Nelle, a teacher at the Albert-Schweitzer-/Geschwister Scholl-Gymnasium in Marl, explains: “It’s the case that primary school teachers in particular have to give lessons in STEM subjects which they are often not familiar with. There is usually too little time for the extensive work needed to prepare experiments. The Experimento seminars familiarize educators with the topic and offer fine prerequisites for ensuring that the experiment kits will be used in everyday lessons for a long time to come.”

The new Experimento | 8+ seminars will be held at the Experimento Centers in Jülich, Marl, Trier and Mühldorf. The centers are schools that have been chosen together with the German Association for the Promotion of Math and Science Teaching (MNU) and the Association of Math and Science Excellence Centers in Schools (MINT-EC), cooperation partners of the Siemens Stiftung.

In the last school year, 59 teachers from a total of 29 schools were successfully initiated in Experimento | 10+. New seminars for Experimento | 10+ started at the beginning of October 2013. Apart from the modules in Germany, the Siemens Stiftung is also holding Experimento seminars in Latin America and South Africa.

You can find more information at: www.siemens-stiftung.org/experimento.

ENCOURAGE. empowering people. The Siemens Stiftung wants to empower people to actively address today’s social challenges. 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 culture. The Siemens Stiftung pursues an integrative approach and stands for responsible, impact-oriented and innovative project work.

Further information: www.siemens-stiftung.org.