School labs of the HZB and Helmholtz Association are more popular with every year

Blick ins Schülerlabor des HZB. Foto: HZB/A. Kubatzki

The aim of the Helmholtz school labs is to make science fun for children and adolescents. Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin has run a school lab on the Wannsee campus since 2004 and on the Adlershof campus since 2010. During this time, more than 20,000 visitors have participated in the age-appropriate project days at HZB – and the numbers continue to rise.

This trend can be seen at all 29 labs of the Helmholtz Association: last year alone, more than 90,000 school students researched and experimented at the Helmholtz Association’s various locations. In 2014, there were just under 80,000 attendees. The demand from teachers for advance training opportunities also grew since the year before, with more than 2,600 participants.

“The school labs are an important and successful instrument for introducing children and adolescents to science and technology,” says Otmar D. Wiestler, President of the Helmholtz Association. “Young people are our future. To get them interested in science at a young age, we will have to remain strongly committed to this field in future.” One goal is to reach as many students as possible. Another is to offer particularly talented young people a special promotional opportunity. It is also important to give teachers various advanced training opportunities at the school labs.

“There is huge demand for appointments at the HZB school lab, because the project days offer a very sound complement to the school curricula. Here, school students can experiment intensively in the field of energy materials and discover how important this research is for a sustainable future energy supply. Many arrive with great curiosity and, after a day of experimenting, return home with great enthusiasm. For us, that is the best confirmation,” says the head of the HUB school lab, Dr. Ulrike Witte. 2800 children and adolescents attended the HZB school labs in 2016, including four groups from abroad.

The HZB school lab is furthermore part of the network of Helmholtz school labs and is involved, for example, in the Germany-wide Helmholtz Day. The network of Helmholtz school labs has already been organising this for every November since 2013.

In 2017, there will once again be joint offers from the network, for example a two-week workshop on Heligoland for school students aged 16 and over, in line with the topic of this Science Year “Seas and Oceans”. Students can still apply for this workshop until 31 March. More details at: www.helmholtz.de/mehrmeer2017 (ger).

You can find the HZB school lab programme here – including, among other things, project days for children and adolescents, and advanced training for teachers.