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New rooms for the younger generations

Nov 22, 2021
The MARUM University School Lab (UNISchullabor) opens the new school year 2021/2022
In the new rooms on University Boulevard, students experiment and learn together. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp
In the new rooms on University Boulevard, students experiment and learn together. Photo: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp

For the past 20 years, the MARUM UNISchullabor has served as a bridge between schools and the university. After a break caused by the pandemic and renovation work, the team is now inviting groups to the new and remodeled laboratories on the University of Bremen campus.

Everything is interconnected: atmosphere and oceans, glaciers and deserts, flora and fauna. In the MARUM UNISchullabor, students learn how it all works. And they learn not only theoretically, but also in practice through experiments that they themselves prepare, observe, analyze, and finally discuss with one another. “We are building on the knowledge and experience that the students have and making connections that expand outward from the center and becoming more comprehensive, like concentric circles,” says Dr. Martina Pätzold, leader of the MARUM UNISchullabor for the past 17 years. Thematically, Martina Pätzold maintains a close alignment with the University of Bremen’s high-profile scientific area of “Marine, Polar and Climate Research”, which is coordinated at MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences. Its members support the MARUM UNISchullabor with courses in their areas of expertise.

The MARUM UNISchullabor was established 20 years ago as a bridge between the Universum Science Center as a practical location and the university, originally focusing on high-school students. Its goal was to arouse their interest in the natural science fields using lectures as a vehicle. Lectures are now a thing of the past, and the clientele has become much younger. The children who come to the School Lab now are from the last year of kindergarten through the elementary and middle-school levels.

To help them learn about the interrelationships and cycles of our planet in a relaxed way, the students now have more space in the new rooms of the School Lab, and do not have to change between different laboratories on the campus. The new rooms, which include a fully outfitted student laboratory and an outside area, make this all possible. The preparations for this took three years, during which Martina Pätzold taught either on field trips – for example to the Wadden Sea – or directly in the schools.  

Pätzold always keeps an eye on the curriculum, which includes the water cycle, for example. What happens when ice melts or the oceans warm up? “We are really filling a void here,” says Pätzold. Theory is taught in the school and then the classes come to her to carry out experiments. In addition to the water cycle, the groups are also learning about the rock cycle, types of renewable energy, and investigations related to climate. The course content is individually tailored to the level of the class, their previous knowledge, and the profile of the school, so that the guests can always work in an interactive and application-oriented environment, and thus learn independently. The educators also appreciate this, says Pätzold. “Although we lead the courses, the teachers are always involved. This gives them the chance to observe and get to know their groups in a different way outside of the school setting.”

“Two points in particular speak in favor of the new MARUM UNISchullabor,” says Frauke Meyer, Chancellor of the University of Bremen. “The expanded program strengthens the university's MINT areas [mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, and technology], and a future generation of students is introduced to the natural sciences in a more playful way."

Prof. Michael Schulz, Director of MARUM, stresses that “Programs for schools will continue to be a central activity of MARUM. We want to provide young people with knowledge about climate change, and show them ways they can act more sustainably.”

The new rooms on the Boulevard of the university are also the home of the climate project “Klima – Ich wandle mich” (Climate – I’m changing), in which four project schools in the state of Bremen are working on the topic of climate protection and sustainability. A virtual program called MINT-Box is currently being developed for educators to bundle courses, use the rooms, and develop new content for students.

 

More information:

Home page of the MARUM UNISchullabor (in German only): https://www.marum.de/Entdecken/MARUM-UNISchullabor-2.html

 

Contact for inquiries and visits:

Dr. Martina Pätzold
Leader, MARUM UNISchullabor
Telephone: +49 421 218 65530
Email: [Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript]

Ulrike Prange
MARUM Media Relations
Telephone: +49 421 218 65540
Email: [Bitte aktivieren Sie Javascript]

 

MARUM produces fundamental scientific knowledge about the role of the ocean and the seafloor in the total Earth system. The dynamics of the oceans and the seabed significantly impact the entire Earth system through the interaction of geological, physical, biological and chemical processes. These influence both the climate and the global carbon cycle, resulting in the creation of unique biological systems. MARUM is committed to fundamental and unbiased research in the interests of society, the marine environment, and in accordance with the sustainability goals of the United Nations. It publishes its quality-assured scientific data to make it publicly available. MARUM informs the public about new discoveries in the marine environment and provides practical knowledge through its dialogue with society. MARUM cooperation with companies and industrial partners is carried out in accordance with its goal of protecting the marine environment.

In the MARUM UNISchool lab, students prepare samples, examine them and then discuss what they have observed. Photos: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp

In the MARUM UNISchool lab, students prepare samples, examine them and then discuss what they have observed. Photos: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp


In the MARUM UNISchool lab, students prepare samples, examine them and then discuss what they have observed. Photos: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp

In the MARUM UNISchool lab, students prepare samples, examine them and then discuss what they have observed. Photos: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp
In the MARUM UNISchool lab, students prepare samples, examine them and then discuss what they have observed. Photos: MARUM - Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen; V. Diekamp