MINT talent support – how to create innovative young researchers

Author(s): Dieter Hausamann, Tobias Schüttler

Extracurricular MINT talent support plays a major role in strengthening the self-concept of ability of young people and stimulating their epistemic interest in the MINT disciplines. Typical examples are long-term out of school programs and so-called school labs located at research facilities providing hands-on experiments to stimulate the interest in science and technology. The DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen, which is operated by the German Aerospace Center DLR, is one of these school labs with long-term experience in the field of MINT talent support and cooperates with numerous institutions such as the Hector Seminar. School student research projects are the most advanced measure to bring young talents in close contact with state of the art research and development. Enrichment projects in which the participating school students execute long-term and complex research activities are suitable to generate excellent next-generation researchers. This workshop presents examples for typical aerospace related school student research projects, including their basic conception, the practical preparation and implementation, and the development of technological products. Examples for such projects are - remote sensing of vegetation from stratospheric balloons in comparison with satellite data - a demonstration system for the Galileo satellite navigation system - the “Space Box”, a command and control unit for performing experiments with and on water rockets The participants of this work shop will in small groups have the opportunity to create new ideas and basic concepts for innovative school student research projects, following the presented guidelines as well as being based on their individual interests. All these project ideas will be distributed, enabling every participant to return home with a number of new and practicable ideas for MINT talent research.