Noticia | Educación 08.10.2013

Experiments provide chances to talk – at 14 kindergartens and primary schools in Waldkraiburg

Educators get to know KIKUS.
© Siemens Stiftung, Fotograf: Sebastian Isacu

The pilot project in “Discovering science and nurturing language” sponsored by the Siemens Stiftung and the Mühldorf school board has reached its successful conclusion. The last seminar for participating educators will be held on October 7-8, 2013. Some 30 teachers and educators from Waldkraiburg have attended a series of free continuing education sessions to find out ways to encourage children to learn science and language combined at kindergartens and primary schools. Describing, explaining and substantiating phenomena – the specific activities of work in science – enables kids to get a direct “hands-on” understanding of new vocabulary. The teachers started out the school year using the discoveries and new methods that the program taught about the KIKUS language method and the STEM project Experimento. Now Siemens Stiftung and the Mühldorf school board will be continuing their cooperative partnership, and offering new continuing education courses for teachers at higher-level schools. You can find out more at: www.siemens-stiftung.org/experimento-deutschland

“Experimenting as a group is an ideal way of encouraging children to talk. Discovering and exploring is just fun. They get excited about what they’re doing, and automatically want to tell others what they’ve noticed and guessed.” That’s how Hella Bittenbinder, an educator at the St. Franziskus Catholic kindergarten in Waldkraiburg, explains the project’s success at her school. Building children’s language skills while also strengthening their interest and abilities in science is the aim that the Siemens Stiftung is pursuing jointly with the Mühldorf school board. Their “Discovering science and nurturing language” pilot project is a model of integrated learning throughout a child’s education. The initiative in Waldkraiburg started with the educators. To reinforce their knowledge of encouraging language and science, they attended continuing education seminars in the KIKUS language method, the STEM project Experimento, and an associated module on how to link them together.

Project partners extend cooperation

The initiators are very pleased at how well the pilot project and their cooperative effort worked out. Paul Schönstetter, Director of the Mühldorf State School Board, explains: “Our goal was to bring about a project that covers a child’s entire education. So we’re very happy that we were able to recruit all the kindergartens and primary schools in the Waldkraiburg area to join the initiative. Cooperation with the Siemens Stiftung worked beautifully, and we’ll be keeping it up this school year.” Dr. Barbara Filtzinger, head of the unit “Education” at the Siemens Stiftung, adds: “We’re especially glad that our concept for encouraging language and the sciences in combination is panning out so well. It lets us take advantage of synergies and encourage all facets of the children’s growth.”

To keep older children and teenagers enthusiastic about scientific phenomena, the project partners will extend their cooperation to include Experimento I 8+ und Experimento I 10+. Teachers will be trained as multipliers for both age groups, and training programs for the surrounding schools will be offered beginning in early 2014.

For more information, see: 

www.siemens-stiftung.org/experimento-deutschland 

About the “Discovering science and nurturing language” project

This continuing education concept rests on three main principles: Strengthening children’s language skills using the KIKUS language method (standing for “Children in Cultures and Languages”) developed by the Center for Multilingualism in Early Childhood (zkm). It helps children from different backgrounds learn German, beginning at age three. Experimento is a Siemens Stiftung project to support teachers and educators with an extensive range of experiments on topics in energy, the environment and health. By independently studying natural phenomena, children and teenagers are encouraged to explore technical and scientific interconnections. Using the skills they had learned, the educators found out in the “Language Learning & Experimento” module how the two aspects can support and strengthen one another.

About Siemens Stiftung

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 work.

Further information can be found at www.siemens-stiftung.org/en

About the Mühldorf State School Board

The State School Board of Mühldorf / Inn is in charge of the 32 primary and middle schools in the Mühldorf district. Besides administering these schools, the board has also assumed roles as a center of quality for the further development of its schools, as an advisor for schools and parents in the area, and as an initiator and coordinator for projects to improve school quality. The board is also involved in developing an educational region within the district.

For more information, see: www.lra-mue.de