MINTegration uses a mobile laboratory, which is transported from school to school with co-called “Welcome Classes”. These classes have been created to facilitate the integration of refugees. We visit refugee classes with our mobile lab and conduct STEM-themed project weeks. The topic of STEM is a wonderful topic to be taught at refugee classes.
It is difficult to participate in our modern society, which is built on technical and scientific inventions, without any basic knowledge of scientific methods. The goal of MINTegration is to facilitate language immersion and to teach about important features of our society. Beside this aspect of participation, another aspect is emancipation. The “scientific method” of experimenting, reasoning and decision-making is far away from any ideologic way of influencing people. Introducing people to the scientific method of researching convincing solutions may cause immunity against simple solutions or similar ideologies, which are common and more widespread as we might know. One example is the denying of evolution theory, another is the role of male and female humans, a third one is about the causes for climate change.
In addition, we aim to improve the chances for stable jobs. Over the next years, the job perspectives in STEM are very positive, not only in the academic sector, but also for vocational trained jobs. During the project weeks, the students have the opportunity to go beyond talking about abstract things, instead to really gain hands-on experiences – which then leads to unexpected results. The workshops focus on interactive learning experiences, using experiments, research tasks, discussion and decision-making using topics ranging from the human body to sustainability. E.g. the testing of bacteria on fingers in different conditions (washed/washed just with water/unwashed) is very interesting.
The project weeks are led by students majoring in Education at Martin-Luther-University, with studies in science fields and teaching experience. The project is led by a coordinator.
More information about
Martin Lindner, Leader of the Department, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Dep. Biology Education
Martin Lindner is Professor for Biology Education in Halle, Germany. He started his career as a Biology teacher, later he became researcher in Biology Education at the university of Kiel and Flensburg. He is interested in the sciences however, he is convinced, that learning is better than teaching. Therefore, he is interested in creating learning situations for kids, young people – and adults as well. Already in 2015, he started working with refugee kids. The aim is not only to give opportunity to learn about the sciences and to participate in our modern, science and technology based society, but also to create an insight into jobs in this field.