The Deutsche Telekom Foundation is engaged in good education in the digital world and is focused on the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM ). The foundation began combining its activities under the categories of "education drivers," "education opportunities," "education innovations" and "education dialog" in July 2016. Projects such as the "Junior Engineering Academy" are examples of the foundation’s successful work. Since January of 2017, the "Yes I can!" initiative has officially been integrated into Deutsche Telekom Stiftung, where it is one of the projects in the "Education Opportunities” action area.
Forum Bildung Digitalisierung
Deutsche Telekom Stiftung launched the „Forum Bildung Digitalisierung“ education and digitalization forum together with four other German foundations in 2016. Since September of 2017, two additional foundations have joined forces with Deutsche Telekom Stiftung. All the foundations involved in the initiative are convinced that digital media can help improve the education system, thereby improving participation and equal opportunity. The three core topics of the initiative are "personalized learning," "developing skills," and "shaping 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 core topic is to convey the media skills necessary for living an independent life. "Shaping change" focuses on developing an educational concept for using digital media at educational institutions and within the education system.
The Forum also looks to engage in dialog with different participants in the educational sector 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, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is looking for volunteer reading mentors to get children from the ages of 3 to 10 excited about STEM content. A total of 1,450 reading mentors have already signed up to the network, including six mentors in Madrid and Málaga. 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. At the end of 2017, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and the German Reading Foundation were able to offer around 100 media and action tips in nine languages. In 2017, there were STEM reading events in Germany, Austria, Romania, Spain and the USA.
GestaltBar – the digital workshop
Young people need to learn how to skillfully and creatively use digital tools so 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 – a mini-computer for young schoolchildren
The Calliope Mini mini-computer helps young schoolchildren learn how to program a computer. In 2017, Calliope gGmbH provided pilot schools in the states of Saarland and North Rhine-Westphalia with mini-computers. 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 participating 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. Since the beginning of the project, the school network has been growing steadily. In 2017, nine new Junior Engineer Academies joined the network, which means that there are already 88 schools in Germany that offer an academy. In 2017, for example, students from secondary schools in Leipzig were able to research interesting telecommunications projects the Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HfTL). One group of students developed a cost-efficient robot that can be used in IT classes at school.
For the school year 2018/2019, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is inviting applications for new junior engineering academies across Germany for the last time. Schools that would like to integrate the teaching model on a long-term basis into their teaching schedule can submit an application to Deutsche Telekom Stiftung along with their concepts. Deutsche Telekom Stiftung will provide the winning schools with seed funding of up to 10,000 euros to enable them to set up a Junior Engineer Academy. Participants are encouraged to meet regularly at annual JIA conferences to share their experiences.
FundaMINT is Deutsche Telekom Stiftung's grant program for student teachers in STEM subjects. It helps student teachers get ready for their future career. Up to 25 grants are awarded every year for a period of four semesters each. The program was expanded in collaboration with the PädagogischerAustauschdienst (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
In 2017, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung invited applications for the STEM Didactics Fellowship program for the second time. 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 young fellows can attend seminars and workshops on topics such as job negotiations and supervising doctoral candidates and are involved in the Deutsche Telekom Stiftung network.
"Yes, I can!" initiative: support for 82 new digital competence projects
With the "Yes, I can!" initiative, Deutsche Telekom Stiftung teaches young people key skills for an independent and confident life in the digital world. In 2017, 82 open youth work projects fostering digital skills were funded through the initiative. The overall funding amount was once again around 600,000 Euro in 2017.
The key aim of the initiative is to empower children and young people and facilitate their participation in social development through skills building. In 2017, the project focuses on the development of media and digital skills. The age bracket for the target group was slightly expanded and is now between 9 and 16 years. More than 1,200 projects throughout Germany have been funded by the "Yes, I can!" initiative with a total of more than 6 million euros since the initiative was launched seven years ago.