Make Your School – A Workshop for Ideas
Making, creating and teamwork are the key components of Make Your School. The project supports two- or three-day hackday events in schools all over Germany. During the hackdays students develop ideas and design solutions to improve their school with technical and digital tools. Mentors support the students with technical impetus and guidance. Make Your School is a project by Wissenschaft im Dialog. It is supported by the Klaus Tschira Foundation as the nationwide funding body and by the Vector Stiftung as the funding body for Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Make Your School hackdays are an open and creative workshop format that takes place at schools for two or three days, for example as part of a project week. The hackdays kick off with pupils identifying challenges they have encountered at their school. Working in small teams, they develop ideas for solving these problems and thus enhancing everyday school life. During the hackdays, students have access to tool kits, microcontrollers, sensors and other facilities. To conclude the workshop, the participants present their prototypes to their school community, parents and journalists.
Our hackdays contribute to enhance digital literacy at German schools. During the workshop students get to know a variety of digital and electronic tools. They gain a clearer understanding of their setup, function and use. Moreover, working in a team, identifying problems and possible solutions as well as developing new ideas are soft skills that are also imparted throughout the hackdays. The students can contribute their individual creative ideas and expertise. They learn how to code, how to plan and construct a prototype, and how to develop innovative ideas.
The teacher trainings are specially designed to prepare the teachers to organise the hackdays at their schools. Additionally, our handbook supports them throughout the organisation and provides helpful tips.
We also train our mentors: They become familiar with our workshop concept as well as electronic material. They learn how to guide the students through the hackdays and support them with developing their prototypes.
In order to meet the increasing demand from schools to host Make-Your-School-hackdays, we are working on building a nationwide network with local partners. These partners will coordinate and supervise hackdays at schools in their region. More information (in German) on the Make-Your-School-network is available on our website.
Make Your School is subject to scientific monitoring in order to ensure quality and that it meets current standards. The Technische Universität Braunschweig began monitoring Make Your School in February 2018. Francine Meyer is investigating the effectiveness of the hackdays at schools as part of her doctoral work, under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Monika Taddicken in the Institute of Communication Studies.
The organisations behind
Wissenschaft im Dialog aims to arouse and strengthen interest in science among people of every age and background. We aim to achieve this by organising discussions, education projects for schools, exhibitions and competitions – all focused on science and research. We develop new formats for science communication and run events across Germany to reach diverse target groups. Our goal is to involve as many people as possible in discussions about research, including its controversial aspects. WiD is a non-profit organisation founded by the major German science organisations on the initiative of the ‘Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft’. WiD also has several foundations as partners and receives significant support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. www.wissenschaft-im-dialog.de
The German foundation Klaus Tschira Stiftung supports natural sciences, mathematics and computer science and the appreciation of these subjects. It was founded in 1995 by physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940–2015) by private means. Its three priorities are: education, research and science communication. This commitment begins in kindergarten and continues in schools, universities and research institutions throughout Germany. The foundation advocates the dialogue between science and society. Further information (in German) at: www.klaus-tschira-stiftung.de
The Vector Foundation was established as a corporate foundation in 2011. The foundation owns 60% of the shares in Vector Informatik GmbH and finances its activities from the dividend it receives from this stake. The Vector Foundation funds 150 projects with an average of around 8 million euros per year. Since 2011 the foundation has used more than 50 million euros for its charitable work. The Vector Foundation engages in the fields of research, education and social projects in Baden-Württemberg. The funding focuses on engineering research projects, on STEM education and on combating homelessness and youth unemployment. www.vector-stiftung.de