"Research at the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin is adventure and fun. That's exactly why we want to get more people excited about science. Now, in 2022, we are stepping up our educational programmes in classes and with women. With nature education, we are giving them courage, educational connections and perspectives again after the hard and deprived Corona period," says Director General Johannes Vogel. With regular AGs for primary and secondary schools as well as an AG for girls on career orientation, the museum is committed to Berlin and continues its successful cooperation with schools and the school laboratory network GenaU. These offers are funded by two programmes of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
The two long-term programmes on natural science topics and occupational fields, the nawi.club for pupils from two of the museum's partner schools and the NATürlich Ausbildung! girls' workshop, open up special experiences and encounters for young people at the museum as an extracurricular place of learning and complement the extensive educational programme this year. These projects are primarily aimed at children and young people who, due to the Corona pandemic, were rarely able to participate in extracurricular educational opportunities.
In the nawi.club, which starts in February, 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 protection, 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 aimed specifically at children who have suffered particularly from the pandemic conditions. The AGs are made possible through the nationwide funding programme for school laboratories in the "Action Programme Catching Up after Corona" of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
NATurally Education! is an offer exclusively for girls who are interested in a scientific education. In the AG, schoolgirls from grade 9 get to know women who work in STEM training professions. The hosts alternate between the NatLab of the Free University of Berlin, the Transparent Laboratory on the Berlin-Buch Campus and the Microscopy Centre at the Museum of Natural History Berlin. Here the girls exchange ideas with preparator Christin Scheinpflug and collection manager Anja Friederichs. The girls' workshop is part of the MINT cluster Mach's GenaU! of the GenaU school laboratory network, which is funded for three years by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
The museum will also expand its educational offerings for other groups in the coming months - in the museum, but also outside in schools, daycare centres, neighbourhoods and natural places in Berlin, in order to make science transparent and knowledge about nature accessible to as many people as possible. The museum is particularly proud that its work to date has been recognised and that innovative nature education will continue to be supported in the future, in accordance with the coalition agreement of the Berlin state government.