Welcome to Kiel Science Factory
About the student laboratory
Kiel Science Factory (Kieler Forschungswerkstatt) is a joint institution of Kiel University (CAU) and the Leibniz-Institute for Science and Mathematics Education (IPN). In the thematic laboratories, pupils, teachers and student teachers deal with scientific questions from the marine and nano-sciences. They learn more about the social aspects of energy, gain access to current topics from human medicine and biological research or learn why soil is more than just dirt. The humanities offer programs in the field of language and art as well as on historical-political and theological topics.
Promoting young people’s interest in science
The work of Kiel Science Factory is based on four pillars. Its broad range of courses is intended to promote young people’s interest in science in general and the MINT subjects in particular. In addition, top-level support, teacher training and further education as well as the communication of scientific content to society are provided.
Teacher training and public outreach
By beeing actively involved in the laboratory programmes, students of teaching professions, for example, get to know the practical work with school groups at an early stage. In addition, further training courses for teachers are offered to carry questions and results of Kiel University’s priority research areas into the schools. With participation in events such as Kieler Woche or the European Researchers Night, as well as Citzen Science projects such as the annual Coastal Cleanup Day, the Kieler Forschungswerkstatt appeals to the general public.
The thematic laboratories
Nanotechnology in our everyday life
In the click!:lab (klick!:labor) school classes from grades 8 to 13 explore the nanoworld with a special microscope, the atomic force microscope. On the day of their visit, they discover which outstanding properties products with nanoparticles have or how nanotechnology learns from nature. In addition, the boys and girls will discuss whether the use of nanoparticles may also entail risks.
Topics from the field of marine research
The ocean:lab (ozean:labor) adresses topics such as the pollution of the seas and oceans by plastic waste or noise and the effects of climate change. Students gain insights into marine sciences and the working methods of researchers. Citizen science projects as well as for example exciting afternoon and holiday activities within the EU-funded project Marine Mammals complete the offer.
The habitat Earth
In the geo:lab (geo:labor), students from 5th to 13th grade are working on current issues relating to soil, crop plants, climate zones and site adaptation of plants. They look at changes in habitats caused by humans, for example during expedition learning at the Baltic Sea. On their laboratory day, the learning groups receive interdisciplinary insights into the chosen topic and into the working methods of the scientists.
Medical and biological research
Senior classes visiting the life:lab (life:labor) receive access to current topics from medical and biological research. For example, the learning groups experience the influence of epigenetics on life, how research uses the intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli as a model organism or what kinship actually means. The laboratory visit also enables the young people to get to know and to try working methods of the disciplines.
Everyday phenomena related to the topic of energy
In the energy:lab (energie:labor), students of grades 6 to 9 deal with exciting questions from their everyday lives. For example, they investigate why a laptop sometimes gets hot. In doing so, the boys and girls discover the significance of the energy concept. At the same time, they learn how to better combine different areas of physics.
Exciting questions and current topics in the field of religion
In the religion:lab (reli:labor), middle and high school students get to know current and innovative approaches from different areas of theology. These are discussed on the basis of existential topics such as trust or freedom. On the day of their visit, the young people come into contact with religious traditions. However, the offers are openly designed in terms of ideology.
Offers focusing on language
School classes of levels 5 to 13 explore linguistic forms and their functions as well as the social use of language(s) in the language:workshop (sprach:werk). The offer of the humanities laboratory covers numerous topics and questions. For example, the boys and girls deal with language change, the function of word classes or spelling and with medieval manuscripts.
Topics from the historical sciences
The time:workshop (zeit:werk) promotes the discussion of historical-political topics. During their visit intermediate school pupils expand their skills in the field of historical judgement formation in an exciting way. At the same time, the boys and girls gain thematic insights into the historical sciences and into the working methods of humanities scholars.
Art makes visible
Visiting the art:workshop (kunst:werk), students learn about various artistic techniques. Together with the team, they create artistic stop-motion films, make great environmental art outdoors, or produce technical drawings and graphics using gravure printing. Thereby the school classes often work interdisciplinary focusing on scientific and socially relevant issues such as the problem of plastic waste.
What is democracy?
In the democracy:workshop (demokratie:werk), pupils learn about different aspects of democracy and democratic action in an experimental way. In addition to a full visiting day focusing on climate change and democracy, the team also offers three satellite labs. These are docked to existing natural and social science laboratories.
Insights into the world of programming and robotics
The programs at the science:wharft (nawi:werft) introduce pupils to programming in a playful way. Through practical work with microcontrollers and mini-robots, they learn about the logic and sensor technology behind our digital world in a simple and vivid way. At the same time, the insight into the subject area of programming and robotics makes it easier for boys and girls to enter newly emerging and fundamentally changing job profiles.