STEM Academy (MINT-Akademie)

Providing comprehensive and in-depth support in the areas of math, science, computer science and technology

Students receive comprehensive and extensive support in the areas of math, natural sciences, computer science and technology (STEM) through the STEM Academy. Both interested and talented children and students can take advantage of additional offers through the student research centers and other partner institutions throughout Schleswig-Holstein. They can also network and exchange ideas with researchers and with each other. The aim is for STEM subjects to gradually become as important in society as attending sports clubs or music schools.

The MINT Akademie is a joint initiative of the Ministry of General and Vocational Education, Science, Research and Culture of the State of Schleswig-Holstein and the IPN.

How do you get young people interested in STEM subjects?

STEM education programs vary wildly and have been the focus of various funding programs for years. But how do you get young people interested in and excited about STEM subjects? One option is fascinating phenomena and insights into science. Socially relevant issues such as climate change also provide suitable approaches. This does not, however, automatically lead to young people choosing relevant subjects and professions or making socio-political and individual everyday decisions with a view to sustainable future developments.

Networking and further development of STEM programs

A simple "increase" in programs will not bridge this gap, on the contrary: extracurricular offers continue to be poorly networked with each other and with schools, qualification measures for teachers focus almost exclusively on teaching and often lack in the extracurricular area, research findings on the conditions for acquisition and success only form a rudimentary basis for conceptual developments. Schleswig-Holstein, with the support of various partners from foundations, science, business, education and politics, has therefore launched strategic initiatives to network and further develop STEM programs with a view to the desiderata outlined above.

The regional STEM forum is the first step in promoting networking between providers of extracurricular STEM programs. This structural development is continued by the STEM Academy in the direction of coordinated program development and support for young people and the offers themselves. The associated acquisition of further funding initiatives such as the expansion of regional STEM clusters or the creation of educational maps round off these structures. The qualification of education specialists will also be systematically developed further through upcoming major state programs as a further supporting pillar.

As a virtual building, the STEM Academy enables access via various entry points, experience areas and levels, brings together developments and promotes young talents as well as networking and promoting program concepts, expertise and providers.

Goals of the STEM Academy

Since 2020, the STEM Academy has been pursuing the following goals:

(1) linking offers more systematically with each other and with basic school education

(2) initiating, shaping and supporting funding perspectives and structures,

(3) increasing the number of participants in challenging competitions and thereby

(4) developing a " STEM Perspective" that parents, young people and STEM promotion institutions value equally as both an opportunity and an option for the future.

Objective: Positioning and networking of services in terms of content

Establishing a funding structure that creates a basis for the classification and systematic further development of various thematic strands is a key objective of the STEM Academy. Teachers, parents, young people and providers are thus given better orientation, in the form of a "didactic GPS" through the school and extracurricular STEM funding landscape. An overview for teachers and schools of the STEM offers in the state of Schleswig-Holstein is intended to support the sustainable promotion of interested and talented students and to show paths from basic to advanced. Gaps in offers can also be identified and closed with the development of new, tailor-made programs.

To locate and network offerings in the state, they are first characterized on the basis of the STEM Academy's pyramid structure: