The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation supports a number of STEM projects. The goal is to promote the skills of young people in math, natural sciences and technology and get them excited about the STEM subjects. The foundation began combining its activities under the categories of "education drivers," "education opportunities," "education innovations" and "education dialog" in July 2016. Projects like "Be a math whiz" and "Junior Science Café" are some examples of the foundation's successful efforts.
Education and Digitization Forum
The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation launched the Education and Digitization Forum together with four other German foundations in 2016. Those working for the foundations are convinced that digital media can help improve the education system, thereby improving participation and equal opportunity. The collaboration formulated three core focal topics: "personalizing learning," "developing skills," and "creating change." When it comes to personalized learning, digital media can be used to give different target groups access to different learning approaches, including people with disabilities, particularly talented people and refugees. The goal of the second focal point is to convey the media skills necessary for living an independent life. "Creating change" focuses on developing an educational concept for using digital media at educational institutions and within the education system.
The Education Digitization Forum also looks to engage in dialog with different participants in the educational landscape and to develop new approaches to education. Experts from the worlds of science and education collaborate at conferences, in networks and at development workshops to find answers to the big questions and challenges involved in the digital transformation of educational institutions. The schulentwicklung.digital workshop focuses on changing the school and learning culture through the use of digital media. 38 schools that are already successfully using digital media in the classroom are participating in the workshop.
The STEM reading mentors
In collaboration with the German Reading Foundation, the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation is looking for volunteer reading mentors to get children from the ages of 3 to 10 excited about STEM content. A total of 1,300 reading mentors have already signed up in the network, including six mentors in Madrid and Málaga. Their efforts made it possible to reach around 5,300 children throughout the country. The reading mentors receive training in both classroom and online formats. They are then able to work with children at day-care centers and elementary schools.
We also held two events with Deutsche Telekom Board of Management members in 2016. In May, CFO Thomas Dannenfeldt read out loud at a daycare in Bonn. CHRO Christian Illek read out loud to young schoolchildren in Frankfurt on German National Reading Day, November 18, 2016.
GestaltBar – the digital workshop
Young people need to learn how to skillfully and creatively use digital tools so that they can actively shape their lives and have the opportunity to work in a future-oriented profession. With its "GestaltBar – the digital workshop" project, Deutsche Telekom particularly targets students at lower-level secondary schools. The goal is to use a hands-on approach to introduce young people to digital technology and give them some insight into the different technical professions. Courses include topics like robotics, app development and 3D printing. The project is initially being conducted in four pilot locations – Bonn, Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.
Calliope Mini – mini-computer for young schoolchildren
The Calliope Mini mini-computer helps young schoolchildren learn how to program. The computer is scheduled to be introduced into daily classroom activities throughout Germany in 2017. The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation supports the project by developing and testing learning materials and course concepts. Ideas for the creative use of digital technology are currently being worked on at six universities within the scope of the "Elementary school digital learning" project.
Junior Engineer Academy
The Junior Engineer Academy gets secondary-level students (grade eight and higher) excited about technical professions and careers in engineering. The Junior Engineer Academy is offered as an elective at schools for two years and conducted in collaboration with universities, scientific institutes and companies. The project was implemented for the first time in 2005 and gives students the opportunity to put the knowledge they learn in the classroom into practice. Just under 80 schools in Germany currently participate in the Academy. The school network has been growing consistently since project launch. Participants meet regularly at annual conferences where they can share their experiences. Activities were expanded to countries in central, eastern and southern Europe in 2016 where technology-based school partnerships are being established. These include preparatory visits for teachers, conducting technology projects for students and the opportunity for international teachers to attend annual conventions.
FundaMINT is a grant program for student teachers in the STEM subjects. It helps competent, motivated student teachers get ready for their future. Up to 25 grants are presented each year for a period of four semesters each. The program was expanded during the reporting period in collaboration with the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst (PAD), a department of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs, and the Central Agency for German Schools Abroad. Grant recipients now have the opportunity to work at schools in central, eastern and southern Europe, conduct student projects and participate in preparatory and post-project seminars.
STEM Didactics Fellowship program
The Deutsche Telekom Stiftung foundation initiated the STEM Didactics Fellowship program in 2016. Up to nine fellowships are granted each year to young researchers and scientists in the fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, technology and science education. The fellows can attend seminars and workshops on topics like job negotiations and supervising doctoral candidates and are involved in the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung network.