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The DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen - a science lab to attract young people to science and engineering

Hausamann, Dieter and Schüttler, Tobias and Haigermoser, David and Kästner, Britta (2008) The DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen - a science lab to attract young people to science and engineering. In: Bridging the Gap between Research and Science Education - Conference Proceedings, p. 70. Austrian Institute of Ecology. Bridging the Gap between Research and Science Education, 2008-03-12 - 2008-03-14, Wien.


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The DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen is a typical extracurricular science lab, its main objective being to attract secondary school students to science and technology. It has been developed and operated since 2003 by the German Aerospace Center DLR, Germany's national research centre for aeronautics and space as well as Germany's space agency. For this purpose, each of the eight DLR institutes at the Oberpfaffenhofen research site has designed experiments which are, on one hand, based on its respective core research areas and which, on the other hand, are suitable for secondary school students (age 14 to 18). In total, the School_Lab offers a total of 12 experiments in the research areas of • earth observation sensor technologies (visible, infrared, radar, and lidar) • processing and analysis of earth observation data • environmental research • meteorology • communication and navigation • robotics and mechanical simulation The scientific concept behind each of the experiments includes the involvement of scientific and technical experts, a combination of specialist know-how and high-tech equipment (hardware and software), continuous updating and permanent development of the experiments, and close relation to state-of-the-art research. The didactic concept for each experiment is based on small experimental groups (four students and one supervising student), emphasizing autonomous and haptical work, in a time frame of two hours per experiment. This approach is a straightforward application of the concept of IBSE (inquiry-based science education, as proposed by the European Commission ), allowing the level of complexity to be adjusted to each individual group, with the results depending on the students’ ages and capabilities. In its regular operation the experiments are open to secondary level school classes with up to 30 students. The visiting classes usually stay for one day, each student performs two different experiments. To date, more than 5,500 students have visited the DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen. The second important activity of the DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen is teacher education. Physics and natural science teachers are invited to learn about the science lab’s concept by an overview lectures, by science lessons about the ongoing research at the institutes, by performing the DLR_School_Lab experiments. Additionally, teachers are provided with written material about the science and didactics of the experiments. This facilitates to incorporate the experiments into their standard curricula and school education process and, thereby, helps to guarantee a sustainable effect of the students’ visits to the DLR_School_Lab. Close to 1.000 teachers have already been educated, the respective groups coming from individual secondary schools, or in the frame of regional teacher education seminars organised by the regional school authorities. The highest multiplication effect is achieved by educating seminar teacher (i.e. teachers educating the new teachers), up to date initiated three times by the Bavarian Teacher Education Academy. Altogether, the concept of the DLR_School_Lab is an excellent paradigm for a Research and Education Cooperation, the corresponding concept is well worth while being adopted by other similar research organisations in Europe.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/57071/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Title:The DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen - a science lab to attract young people to science and engineering
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Date:August 2008
Journal or Publication Title:Bridging the Gap between Research and Science Education - Conference Proceedings
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Page Range:p. 70
EditorsEmailEditor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Publisher:Austrian Institute of Ecology
Keywords:Extracurricular Science Labs, Education, Promotion of Next Generation Scientists
Event Title:Bridging the Gap between Research and Science Education
Event Location:Wien
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:2008-03-12 - 2008-03-14
Organizer:Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W - no assignment
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W - no assignment
DLR - Research theme (Project):W - no assignment (old)
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Head Management > Oberpfaffenhofen
Deposited By: Hausamann, Dr.rer.nat. Dieter
Deposited On:31 Dec 2008
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 19:23

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