The Education Department at the Museum für Naturkunde closely collaborates with various partners, such as schools, kindergartens, universities, adult education centres and artists, both in the field of educational practice and in educational research. Here is an overview of some of our projects.
Educational research at the Museum für Naturkunde
In addition to the conception and implementation of educational programmes, one focus of the education department is educational research. Here, the research interests are closely linked to the museum's themes and tasks. In selected exhibitions and Citizen Science projects, the understanding of science and the goals of science communication are investigated. In the field of environmental education, one research focus is on experiences of nature in and outside the museum.
Furthermore, we are interested in how model-based learning develops in non-formal learning and experience spaces, such as the Museum für Naturkunde. In addition, we are investigating the acceptance of evolution among different groups such as museum visitors, pupils and students in a collaborative project.
Contact: Dr Alexandra Moormann
Voluntary ecological year at the Museum für Naturkunde
In cooperation with the organisation Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger e. V. (Association of Young Volunteers), six young adults can currently spend a voluntary ecological year in the scientific collection at the Museum für Naturkunde. Here they support the museum staff in the inventory and digitisation of collection objects and in their scientific work. They also accompany visitors in the open Microscopy Centre as well as school groups in microscopy courses and excursions. Young adults, who would like to get to know the scientific and educational work at a research museum and have pleasure in bringing science closer to visitors, can register with the Vereinigung junger Freiwilliger e.V.
Schoolgirls explore scientific apprenticeships.
In this event, schoolgirls from grade 9 onwards can deal with STEM topics, do their own experiments, exchange ideas with others interested in science and get to know scientific apprenticeships at first hand. The free offer is aimed exclusively at girls. The three participating school labs, the NatLab of Freie Universität Berlin, the Gläserne Labor on the Berlin-Buch campus and the Microscopy Centre of the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, take turns hosting the event.
When: Every second Thursday from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
What: The girls get to know women from various scientific apprenticeships, get insights into the professional world, can ask questions and conduct various experiments under guidance.
How: This round will be offered digitally due to the pandemic, but at the kick-off event, participants will select two dates to be held in attendance. In German only.
The offer is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research
nawi.club – Aufholen nach Corona
In the nawi.club, pupils from the Gustav-Falke primary school in Berlin-Wedding and the Hagenbeck secondary school in Berlin-Weißensee can get to know the museum, explore nature, experiment and exchange ideas on topics such as species conservation, biodiversity and sustainability in weekly workshops. The development of their own digital project is also intended to strengthen the children's self-confidence. The workshops are addressed specifically to children who have suffered particularly from the pandemic conditions and support them in the natural sciences and in working with digital media.
The workshops are funded by the nationwide support programme for school laboratories in the "Aktionsprogramm Aufholen nach Corona" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
A World in Motion
The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is one of the eight Research Museums of the Leibniz Association that launched an educational competition in cooperation with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
From March to June 2021, pupils all over Germany dealt with the effects of globalisation on our social life, developed ideas of future museums or researched the origin of museum objects. 56 extraordinarily exciting projects with a variety of formats were submitted, showing the high level of creativity of the young people. Four projects were honoured, ranging from the "Effects of Globalisation on the Fashion Industry", a "Fresh Breeze for Dusty Museums" and a "Gender Standard" to a very special "World Trip".
You can find the award-winning projects on the website of the Leibniz Research Museums.
Educational Alliance Wedding
Cooperation projects with kindergartens and schools in the district Wedding
Since 2012, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin and educational institutions of the district Wedding in Berlin have formed an educational alliance. Together with the partners, long-term programmes for children of pre-school and primary school age on (first) experiences of nature and museums were developed and a permanent network was established with the aim of increasing the educational opportunities for children and young people in the district. The parents of the children were also involved through free museum admissions for the children and their families as well as festivals in the museum and in the neighbourhood. In the future, this cooperation is to be expanded to include further offers, such as urban nature walks in the neighbourhood for families, nature projects in the kindergartens and neighbouring parks, as well as advanced training in environmental education.
Funded by: Bundesverband Museumspädagogik e.V. within the framework of "Kultur macht stark" of the BMBF (Federal Ministry for Education and Research; 2013-2017); Projektfond Sozialer Zusammenhalt with funds from the BMI (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community); the Federal Urban Development funds; the State of Berlin and the Neighbourhood Management (2018-2021).
Project report "Im Bündnis stark"
Stick insect sponsorship programm
A combined art and science project on the Peruvian stick insect
Many children, child care centres and schools are taking part in the ‘adopt a stick insect’ programme and are now proud owners of a terrarium with live stick insects. As adoptive parents of a stick insect, they explore the life and behaviour of these only recently discovered insects. They feed them privet leaves and watch how stick insect larvae hatch from tiny eggs. They communicate their experiences and observations in the SchreckenBlog, (stick insect blog), their communal online research blog. They are supported by Museum staff, who advise the children on how to keep and study such exotic insects. The open and participative approach of the project appeals to the children’s exploratory mind and creativity. They are involved in the continuous development of the project.
A project developed by Roter Fleck WISSEN SCHAFFT WISSEN-Initiative
Idea, concept, implementation and project coordination: Dr. Katinka Pantz
Partner school Hagenbeck-Schule
Partnership for the conservation of biodiversity
The Hagenbeck-Schule has been a partner school of Museum für Naturkunde since 2012. Both partners are committed to preserving biodiversity and to finding ways of protecting biodiversity sustainably. The Hagenbeck-Schule partnership was developed for the long term with stability in mind. Projects are being developed in close cooperation between teachers and Museum staff. Here is a selection of projects that have so far been carried out:
- In the context of the Wissensdinge (Knowing Things) project, pupils took part in a creative writing workshop and wrote stories about their favourite museum exhibits.
- Under the auspices of artists Folke Köbberling, Rob Vrijen and Joachim Hamster Damm, pupils made use of a historical display cabinet that was discarded by the Museum during refurbishing work. They created their own Diorama of Biodiversity, which became a multifunctional terrarium (for Persian gerbils) integrated into a display cabinet.
Further information on Hagenbeck-Schule.
Discovering nature in the city with the App "Naturblick"
Green cities provide space for experiencing nature, recreation and various encounters. However, nature can only be appreciated and protected if we approach it with understanding and knowledge. In the BMU-funded project "Discovering nature in the city" new media and digital technologies are being developed and used to raise awareness of urban nature and to communicate environmental education digitally. The "Naturblick" app is geared to young adults exploring Berlin’s nature. Easy-to-use identification keys help you to recognise species and to strengthen the perception of one's own neighbourhood as a place of nature experience and one's own sustainable engagement. This involves the individual acquisition of knowledge and skills and the possibilities of lifelong learning with a focus on urban biodiversity.
Further Information: www.naturblick.naturkundemuseum.berlin
Active learning in children
A research project of the iSearch research group of the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research
As part of a cooperation with the Museum für Naturkunde, the research group iSearch (Information Search, Ecological and Active Learning in Children) of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development is conducting playful studies with children in the Museum für Naturkunde. The aim is to investigate how children actively explore their environment to acquire knowledge and how they develop active learning strategies, such as asking questions or independently investigating and trying things out. Furthermore, research will be conducted on how efficient children's learning strategies are and whether children dynamically adapt their strategies to different learning situations. Another focus of the research group is to investigate whether active learning, i.e. the learner's independent decision about how something is learned and when, is superior to more passive forms of learning. In the future, joint research projects are planned with the education department at the museum to investigate children's learning and exploration in the Museum für Naturkunde. The knowledge gained will be used to further develop the museum's educational concepts.
Parents with children can participate in the studies on a voluntary basis; privacy is guaranteed.
The following projects were created with other cooperation partners:
- Stop-motion films by Trickmisch of the Mobiles Sprachlabor (Mobile Language Laboratory)