University of Bremen: MARUM UNISchullabor opens: More space for learning
New rooms for young generations: The MARUM UNISchullabor has been building a bridge between school and university for 20 years. After the pandemic break and renovation, the team is now inviting groups to the new and redesigned laboratories on the Bremen University campus.
Everything is related to everything: atmosphere and oceans, glaciers and deserts, flora and fauna. In the MARUM UNISchullabor, students learn how everything works. And they learn not only theoretically, but also very practically through experiments that they prepare, observe, analyze and, at the end, discuss together. “We build on the knowledge and experience of the students and create a connection that is becoming ever larger and more comprehensive in circles,” says Dr. Martina Pätzold, who has headed the MARUM UNISchullabor for 17 years. Thematically, Martina Pätzold orients herself closely to the subjects of the scientific focus “Marine, Polar and Climate Sciences” at the University of Bremen, which is coordinated at the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences.
The MARUM UNISchullabor was founded 20 years ago as a bridge between the Science Center Universum as a practice location and the university – at that time with the focus on high school students. The aim was to arouse their interest in natural science subjects with lectures. Lectures are a thing of the past, and the clientele has also become significantly younger: Children come to the school laboratory from the last year of kindergarten through elementary school to middle school.
More space for playful learning in the laboratory
In order to get to know the interrelationships and cycles of our planet in a playful way, the students now have more space in the new rooms of the school laboratory without having to switch between laboratories on campus. This is made possible by the new rooms, which include a fully equipped school laboratory and an outdoor area. The preparations for this took three years, during which Martina Pätzold either taught on excursions – for example in the Wadden Sea – or directly at the schools.
Pätzold always keeps an eye on the curriculum. For example, the water cycle is on it. What happens when ice melts or the oceans warm up? “We are filling a real gap,” says Pätzold. The theory is taught in school, and the classes come to her to experiment. In addition to the water cycle, the groups here also deal with the rock cycle, renewable energies or the climate and its research. The course content is individually adapted to the grade level, the previous knowledge and the profile of the school, so that the guests can always work in a practical and application-oriented manner – and learn independently. The educators also appreciate that, says Pätzold. “The teachers are always involved, but we run the courses. So you have the opportunity
“Offer strengthens the MINT area”
“Two points in favor of the new MARUM UNISchullabor: The expanded offering strengthens the MINT range of the university, and a future generation of students is playful to the natural sciences introduced,” says Frauke Meyer, Chancellor of the University of Bremen.
“Offers for schools will continue to be a central activity of MARUM”, emphasizes Prof. Michael Schulz, Director of MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences. “We want to impart knowledge about climate change to young people and show them ways to act more sustainably.”
The new rooms on the university’s boulevard are also home to the climate project “Climate – I change myself”, in which four project schools from the state of Bremen are involved deal with the topic of climate protection and sustainability. The so-called MINT box, a virtual offer for educators, is currently being set up to bundle offers, use the rooms and develop new content for students.
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