Deutsche Telekom Foundation.

  • 2012 "Inquisitive minds" day care competition launched.
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  • First annual conference of the German Center for Mathematics Teachers Education (DZLM) with more than 200 participants.
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The Deutsche Telekom Foundation was established by Deutsche Telekom AG and now has a foundation capital of EUR 150 million, making it one of the biggest business foundations in Germany. It is dedicated to improving education levels in the STEM  subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) throughout Germany. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation was among those who committed themselves to supporting young children in 2012. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation and the Little Scientists' House foundation held a competition for day care centers under the slogan, "Forschergeist 2012" (Inquisitive minds 2012).

The foundation is active in the following areas:

  • Early education,
  • Lessons and more,
  • Teacher training,
  • Promoting talent, and
  • Impetus.

Some EUR 4.9 million went into project work in 2012. We were also able to create a reserve of more than EUR 4.1 million for projects that have already been budgeted.

The Science—Nature—Knowledge project.

The Deutsche Telekom Foundation began training facilitators in 2010 as part of the Science—Nature—Knowledge project. These facilitators go on to train staff at day care centers throughout Germany. A total of 650 facilitators had been trained by the fall of 2012. The foundation also donates course materials to the centers. These materials were developed over the past few years by the Science—Nature—Knowledge project.

New curriculum for training educators.
The Telekom Foundation is planning to expand its activities to train educators based on the curriculum for educators that was completed by the Science—Nature—Knowledge project in January 2013.

Expert meeting on cooperative project.
Once the Science—Nature—Knowledge project has been completed, the Foundation is planning to conduct a cooperative project to promote the training of educators at vocational schools and universities in Germany. A skills model focusing on improving educators' skills and their personal development was designed as the basis for the project. The model is not based on a particular subject so it can be used with different content and applied to various areas. The STEM  skills are being used as an example.

Forschergeist 2012 day care competition.
With the Forschergeist day care competition, the Deutsche Telekom Foundation and the Little Scientists' House foundation recognize educators who work to educate very young children in the areas of natural sciences, mathematics and technology. The competition under the patronage of German Federal Minister at the time, Dr. Annette Schavan, ran from December 1, 2011, until March 16, 2012. Day care centers throughout Germany were encouraged to submit projects from the areas of natural sciences, mathematics and technology to win prize money. 25 projects out of 1,135 submissions were nominated. The five winning projects received EUR 5,000 each. The winners included a long-term project that takes children through different ages in the history of human development and a research project on sand. An additional 15 day care centers received EUR 3,000 each. Because of the number of high-quality submissions, the jury also decided to grant five special prizes of EUR 2,000 each. The day care centers will use the prize money to continue to promote educational work in the fields of natural sciences and technology.

In September 2012, materials were published for parents to give them tips on how to make use of and support educational opportunities for their children. An extensive handbook for parents will be published in fall 2013.

Last year's CR report

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Science—Nature—Knowledge is the Deutsche Telekom Foundation's largest individual project focusing on early education. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation has been helping teachers communicate STEM  skills to young children since 2006.

Supporting the "Interactive schools" initiative.

The Deutsche Telekom Foundation initiated the "Interactive schools" project in 2005 as part of its "Teaching and more" focus. The project investigated the integration of new media into teaching and learning activities. Teachers developed their own concepts for incorporating new media into the classroom at an initial four and then later at 42 secondary schools in the German states of North-Rhine Westphalia, Hesse and Saxony. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation completed the Interactive Schools project at the end of the 2011/2012 school year. The participating German states are continuing the project on their own.

"Be a math whiz".

The second facilitator meeting under the project sponsored by the Telekom Foundation, "Be a math whiz" was held at the Freiburg University of Education in November 2012. Participants developed and tested classroom material modules for decimals, fractions and percentages at the two-day meeting. The goal of the project, which was launched in 2011 with funding of EUR 1.4 million, is to research and develop lesson structures, concepts and materials for low-performing students and their teachers for grades 5 through 10. The aim is to structure math classes in a way that is more individual and more effective. The project is being conducted in collaboration with Technische Universität Dortmund, Freie Universität Berlin, Freiburg University of Education and Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster. The project is scheduled to run for three years.

In December 2012, the Telekom Foundation's board decided to launch the second phase of the project, which will run until 2016. The plan is to implement concepts and materials at secondary schools in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Berlin and Schleswig-Holstein. Project participants will also be developing material for solving practical problems in maths.

Competence center for teacher training.

The first annual convention of the German Center for Mathematics Teachers Education (DZLM) was held at Deutsche Telekom's Representative Office in Berlin on September 21, 2012. More than 200 people attended the event. DZLM has been designed for educational staff at day care centers and math teachers as well as other facilitators who want to develop their skills. The foundation is planning to invest around EUR 5 million in setting up and operating the center by 2016. The competence center started its activities in the 2011/2012 winter semester. The center's communication platform went online in spring 2012 and the first continuing education program started for the 2012/2013 winter semester.

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Because a solid education in math is important for developing skills in the other STEM  subjects, work at the competence center will initially be focused on mathematics. The plan is to offer scientific and didactic training courses in the other STEM  subjects in the future.

Facilitator training.

The "Lernen vor Ort" facilitator project, which was initiated by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in collaboration with an association of more than 140 foundations, creates incentives for cities and districts to set up consistent, cohesive educational management structures. As the sponsor of the business, technology, environment and science categories, the Deutsche Telekom Foundation contributes concepts and materials from its projects Science—Nature—Knowledge, Class Kits, Junior Engineer Academy and Doing Math Differently. The Telekom Foundation's involvement included financing three facilitator training courses during the reporting period. The facilitators were then each provided with a "class kit." Teachers can use the experiment sets and course material to teach topics such as "air and air pressure," "sound" and "swimming and sinking" more effectively at elementary schools. Those responsible for the project had conducted a total of 260 training courses in the 20 participating communities by September 2012.

The foundation's support was scheduled for three years (2010-2013). Even after the Telekom Foundation stopped actively participating in the project, the communities continued to use the "class kits" during the second phase of the "Lernen vor Ort" facilitator project, which will continue until 2015.

Magenta Sofa talks to reflect sponsorship activities within the company.

Deutsche Telekom Foundation has been promoting involvement in education at regional events with the Magenta Sofa talk series since spring 2011. The series of talks was continued in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg and Darmstadt in 2012. The event was hosted in Berlin on April 23, 2012, within the scope of the Berliner Stiftungswoche, a week-long event presenting foundations, and was open to Telekom employees as well as residents of Berlin. Dr. Manfred Balz, the then Board member for Data Privacy, Legal Affairs and Compliance at Deutsche Telekom, and other well-known guests discussed the significance of being involved in the community for Germany as a center of innovation. Encouraging STEM  junior staff members was the focal point of the discussion with T-Systems CEO Reinhard Clemens and Hamburg's mayor, Olaf Scholz, on September 3, 2012. Niek Jan van Damme, Managing Director of Telekom Deutschland and Hesse's Minister of Education and Cultural Affairs, Nicola Beer, explained in Darmstadt on November 19, 2012 what needed to be done to drive science and research forward in Germany.

More events in the series have been planned for 2013.

Everyone needs education—education needs everyone.

The Deutsche Telekom Foundation and Deutsche Telekom sponsor employee volunteering at day care centers and schools under the "Everyone needs education—education needs everyone" project, which was launched in December 2011. In particular, employees are invited to volunteer in science, technology, engineering and mathematics projects that go beyond every day activities at day care centers and schools and to apply for financial support from the Foundation for their project. Seven projects were sponsored during the reporting period (as of Nov. 2, 2012: since March 7). Deutsche Telekom employees went on excursions to the Odysseum, a science adventure park in Cologne, with the children and to the Mathematikum, a hands-on maths center in Gießen, and conducted fire safety workshops with training kits financed by Deutsche Telekom. The children learned about the benefits and dangers of fire at the workshops. The "Everyone needs education—education needs everyone" project will be continued in the coming year with a total sponsorship amount of EUR 50,000.

Establishing more Junior Engineer Academies.

The goal of the Junior Engineer Academies is to show students in 8th grade and above what it is like to work as an engineer, scientist or researcher. Partners of the Junior Engineer Academies include schools and universities as well as other regional partners from the worlds of business and science. The Junior Engineer Academy network currently includes almost 40 schools throughout Germany. The Deutsche Telekom Foundation requested submissions for a competition to create fifteen new Junior Engineer Academies during the 2013/2014 school year in order to spread the concept further. An expert jury selected the best concepts on March 22, 2013. The schools were accepted into the Germany-wide Junior Engineer Academy network at the network meeting on April 26 and 27, 2013, in Berlin.