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Nature and sustainability in the far north

The Elite Grad­uate Pro­gram "MINT-Leh­ramt PLUS" at the Uni­versi­ties of Bay­reuth and Würzburg ena­bles stu­dents of sec­ondary school teach­ing to obtain a Mas­ter of Sci­ence in addi­tion to the state exam­ina­tion. In addi­tion to a more in-depth study of the sub­ject, the pro­gram also fo­cuses on re­search ques­tions and peda­gogi­cal and di­dactic con­tent. Dur­ing an ex­cur­sion to northern Ger­many, vari­ous extra­cur­ricu­lar places of learn­ing were exam­ined more close­ly.

Life cycle assessment in the student lab

Moin, Moin! On Friday, July 15, the students of the Elite Graduate Program "MINT-Lehramt PLUS" start­ed from the much too hot Würzburg to the much too cool north to Bre­men. De­spite train de­lays (which ad­mit­tedly cost us some nerves), we final­ly ar­rived at the Uni­versi­ty of Bre­men, where we were warmly wel­comed.

Over coffee and cook­ies, we learned about the ex­peri­ments and topics of­fered at the uni­versi­ty's stu­dent lab. In par­ticu­lar, it was about the so-called life cycle as­sess­ment, which exam­ines the im­pact of a prod­uct on peo­ple and the envi­ron­ment over its entire life cycle - a top­ic that is not only high­ly rele­vant to sci­ence, but also of great polit­ical and social rele­vance. In addi­tion to the con­tent-related as­pects, the di­dactic prep­ara­tion of the thor­ough­ly com­plex topics was also very inter­esting. In the course of a com­pari­son of the life cycle as­sess­ment of cow's milk and milk alter­na­tives, we even made our own oat milk and were of course al­lowed to taste it (alt­hough the taste could have been im­proved, we still had fun).

Foreign worlds: on the way in the mud flats and climate house

The next day, we went to the North Sea for a guid­ed mud­flat hike. We learned a lot about the varie­ty of ani­mals that live in the mud­flats, for ex­ample about the lug­worm, which bur­rows into the ground in a U-shape, or the shore crab, which regu­larly sheds and re­news its entire shell. Af­ter­wards, we were even able to exam­ine some of the ani­mals under the mi­cro­scope.

In the after­noon, the Klimahaus in Bremerha­ven was on the agen­da. There we dived into for­eign worlds: We learned how peo­ple live in Italy, in Cam­eroon or in Alas­ka and how cli­mate change af­fects their lives. Whether in a tun­nel made of ice at sub-zero tem­pera­tures, on sus­pen­sion bridges over a bab­bling brook or be­tween nu­mer­ous aquariums with fish in all colors - the Klimahaus had a lot to offer and is cer­tainly also an im­pres­sive expe­rience for stu­dents an im­pres­sive expe­rience.

Didactic impressions at the zoo

On Sun­day, we went to the Zoo am Meer in Bremerha­ven. Dur­ing a guid­ed tour we learned a lot about the polar bears, seals and pen­guins of the zoo. Af­ter­wards, we even got an ex­clu­sive look be­hind the scenes. For ex­am­ple, we were able to take a look at the zoo's so­phis­ticat­ed water filtra­tion sys­tem. In addi­tion, the zookeeper showed us the zoo school, where school clas­ses ex­plore the zoo and take a closer look at indi­vidual as­pects of the ani­mal world in ex­peri­ments. Af­ter­wards, we head­ed back to Würzburg. The ex­cur­sion was defi­nitely a lot of fun for us and we were all able to take home nu­mer­ous expe­rienc­es and new knowledge - whether for our­selves per­sonal­ly or for use in the class­room.


Text: Alissa Fock, Elite Graduate Program "MINT-Lehramt PLUS"