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2019/01/30
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Working together for a sound STEM education: DESY is the new local network partner of the “Little Scientists’ House” in Hamburg

As of January 2019, DESY has become a new network partner of the “Haus der kleinen Forscher” foundation. “Haus der kleinen Forscher” (Little Scientists’ House) is now offering its professional development courses to teaching staff at preschool facilities and primary schools working in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), as well as education for sustainable development, under the roof of the research centre.

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Little scientists at work (photo: Christoph Wehrer / (c) 'Haus der kleinen Forscher' foundation).
The largest national early education initiative “Haus der kleinen Forscher” has already had a base in Hamburg since 2007. It aims to provide qualified assistance to children of a preschool and primary school age to enable them to conduct research, discover and learn, and thereby promote an inquisitive and exploratory mind set. The network does this by helping teaching professionals to encourage children up to the age of 10 to learn through inquiry. The network coordinators Bettina Schmidt and Judith Trechsler will now be able to continue their successful work with the assistance of DESY. Furthermore, as of January 2019 the network will be supported by Aurubis AG, Airbus Operations GmbH, Beiersdorf AG and the Claussen Simon Foundation.

“We are very eager to expand our collaboration with the Helmholtz research centres. It is wonderful that we have managed to win over a further internationally recognised and renowned research centre as a partner, in the form of DESY. Its sponsorship of the ‘Little Scientists of Hamburg’ provides a perfect setting in which to establish inquiry-based learning even more firmly in this region,” says Michael Fritz, chairman of the board of trustees at “Haus der kleinen Forscher”.

“One characteristic that is shared by scientists involved in fundamental research and by young children alike, is their virtually unbounded curiosity,” says Helmut Dosch, Chairman of DESY’s Board of Directors. “The network ‘Little Scientists of Hamburg’ promotes this profoundly human property and thereby helps to shape grown-ups who are inquisitive and creative, but at the same time responsible, who can think critically and are open to new ideas. So the network and DESY are an ideal match.” With this partnership, the research centre DESY is expanding its educational programme for young people towards younger children. In its hands-on school lab “physik.begreifen” (grasping physics), DESY has long been offering schoolchildren between the ages of 10 and school-leaving age day-long experimentation programmes.

Overall, almost 1400 teaching professionals from 440 preschool and primary school institutions have taken part in professional development programmes held by the Hamburg “Haus der kleinen Forscher” network. 35 preschool facilities and primary schools within the network are already certified as “Young Scientists’ Houses”. With DESY’s assistance, the network will now continue to build upon these solid foundations, to offer good STEM education in early childhood in Hamburg.

In the future too, the professional development courses offered by the network will be open to all interested teachers who work with children between the ages of 3 and 10. Further details as well as the current schedule of courses are available at www.kleine-forscher-hamburg.de (in German).