The initiative "Forschen macht Spaß" by the "Gesellschaft von Freunden des Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts e. V." offers elementary school children the opportunity to perform experiments with the support of the Fraunhofer HHI. Children learn about the world of science and research in the course of a school field trip. The goal of the initiative is to raise their interest in the natural sciences and technology.
In the current edition of "Forschen macht Spaß", 26 children in grade 3 of the "Grundschule unter den Kastanien" in Lichterfelde-Ost visited the Fraunhofer HHI. In an interactive lecture they got to know the work in a research institute. The children then conducted simple, technical experiments on renewable energies in small groups, focusing in particular on wind and solar energy and storing electricity.
In minor experiments, the children built wind turbines, drove model cars powered by stored electricity, and illuminated light bulbs with an LED-powered solar model. They recorded their progress in test protocols and were delighted to receive the certificate of participation.
"Forschen macht Spaß" is supervised on an honorary basis by experienced scientists who have worked at Fraunhofer HHI for many years. "In this way, we want to pass on our knowledge and experience to primary school children in the hope of getting them interested in vocational training in the STEM subjects that are so important for German industry and science," explains Godehard Walf, board member of the "Gesellschaft von Freunden des Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts e. V.".
The concept of the initiative "Forschen macht Spaß" was developed by "Gesellschaft von Freunden des Heinrich-Hertz-Instituts e. V." with the support of primary school teacher Christina Proll-Schutte from the Paulimmel Primary School in Berlin-Tempelhof. "Forschen macht Spaß" has been taking place at Fraunhofer HHI since November 2013. Thanks to the volunteer work of the supervisors and the support of Fraunhofer HHI, participation is free of charge for the children.