Friedrich-von-Bodelschwingh primary school: hands-on learning

Project: 'Let´s do things at Achenbach'

For the thirteenth year, ‘Let’s do things at Achenbach’ is organized with unabated vigour: The children – all of them third-graders of the Friedrich-von-Bodelschwingh primary school – are enthusiastic and the project supervisors from the school are sustainably motivated to let the children make important experiences that educate them apart from their normal study matters. A spontaneous initiative in 2006 turned into a long-term friendship – a friendship that creates knowledge.

Depending on the respective project topic, every new year the Achenbach personnel inter-divisionally make up an affectionate and creative program for the children to give the little neighbor friends an understanding of a specific micro-world at Achenbach in a funny and entertaining way.

Over the last years, the following projects have been introduced: spectacular filtration tests in the SUPERSTACK filtration assembly workshop, a spectacle created by trainees showing the throughput of a rolling mill order at Achenbach from procurement up to delivery, the computer designing of their dream house at the construction department or the attendance and the amazed seeing of precommissioning of a HeavySlit foil slitting machine in the huge assembly workshop. The most recent program was named ‘Burning and welding at Achenbach’, which fully delighted the children. In any case the training program is complemented by a healthy breakfast as well as a quiz on Aluminium, which was previously taught in the general knowledge course.

Project: 'ExperiMINT Researchers' Club'

Every year, young researchers embark on an adventure-filled journey to the Science College in Overbach near Jülich for the so-called ExperiMINT little esearchers' club, a program run by Achenbach Buschhutten in cooperation with the Friedrich von Bodelschwingh primary school to promote the study of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects (known as MINT in German). Every year since 2010, tech-savvy schoolchildren have traveled to the College to take part in the two-day program, where they discover the secrets of the world of science under expert instruction. “We spent the whole day doing research! It was very, very exhausting – but exciting.”

Each year, a different topic is discussed in the classroom, followed by real life experiments. Past themes have included fuel cell technology as an alternative form of energy and robotics or this year the issue 'water'.

The annual research camp in Julich is part of the ExperiMINT Researchers' Club and consists of three modules:

  1. Large “class boxes” on important scientific phenomena such as building bridges, floating and sinking, etc., serve as teaching aids in the new school laboratory, which was constructed in collaboration with Achenbach for science instruction.
  2. Instructors are trained on how to incorporate the class boxes into their lesson plans in a teacher training course held at the University of Münster.
  3. The research camp is the highlight of the year for a group of especially gifted or enthusiastic young researchers.

As Galileo once said: “You cannot teach a man anything, you can only help him find it within himself.” The project is aimed at sparking an early interest and passion for the sciences and scientific research.

It's a friendship that creates knowledge!

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