15 years of STEM funding in North Rhine-Westphalia - this is what zdi.NRW is celebrating in 2020. We are presenting four highlights for Advent. At the end of the year we tell how the community offensive became a community.
Several Lego robots drive parallel on the mat and tell a story about cryptocurrency, its opportunities and risks. It's in the Robot Performance category, the motto is "Our digital world", it's the year 2019. Julian Braun is standing next to the mat and proudly watches his team, which he has spent the last few months from the development of ideas to the detailed implementation accompanied with. “The group has developed tremendously. At the beginning we sat quietly together in a room and everyone thought to himself which idea was probably the best. In the end, the meetings were long and a collaborative dynamic emerged that required each group member to do their best. Time was of the essence. Now I felt: the group wants to win,” reports Julian in retrospect. A few years ago he was still kneeling on the mat himself at the “MINT Happens”. The sports hall in Mülheim is packed with young people with an affinity for STEM. They all made it to the final of the zdi robot competition. The feeling of having fun with MINT in the air is what makes NRW a pioneer in extracurricular MINT support. All of this is only possible for one reason: people like Julian who are passionate about STEM and are willing to help the next generation. A short time later, the young man began studying mechanical engineering in Aachen.
From course participant to founding member
Back then, Julian would probably never have thought that just a year later he would be telling his zdi guru story in the live stream for the release of the zdi community platform. Klaus Kaiser, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Science, is enthusiastic about the commitment of the student and the many other comrades-in-arms. Because Julian is not alone. He is one of many zdi gurus in NRW who are involved in the community. Some as teachers, some as coordinators, others as entrepreneurs or simply as STEM enthusiasts like Julian. zdi.NRW portrays a few of them every year to emphasize their importance. But a few videos portraying them were not enough: For this reason, the zdi state office “given” him and the many STEM actors in NRW something they were missing: the first social media platform for STEM enthusiasts . A digital marketplace to exchange ideas, come together and shape the world sustainably with MINT, but also to find course offers and experience career orientation.
You can find out more about the zdi gurus in the anniversary article:
15 years zdi | 2018 - The zdi gurus: STEM success stories made in NRW
zdi guru Julian Braun also finds a real enrichment for STEM-affine children and young people who want to exchange ideas with like-minded people: “On the platform I can network with enthusiastic people with the same areas of interest and, for example, find help for tricky questions. It's great to see how many other young people also enjoy STEM - and that we are a big community." Whether it's drone construction, CO2 traffic lights or robot programming - STEM contains everyday skills that are more important today than ever. It is all the more important that young people are introduced to science and technology at an early age and that they get to know them while having fun – like piano lessons or soccer training. zdi has been working on this vision with the help of Europe's largest STEM community for 15 years. And the community still has a lot planned, because now it's time to activate young people to help shape the platform and maybe even program features themselves?!
Here it goes to the blog post about the "Start of the MINT community NRW".
MINT actors also network on the zdi community platform
At the regional level, the zdi networks and communities have proven to be a success factor. zdi.NRW also promotes knowledge exchange and networking at state level: at congresses, BarCamps and in working groups. With the MINT-Community NRW, an innovative place for exchange is offered and the community also gave itself the first social media platform for the anniversary. On the MINT-Community NRW, the networks and student laboratories can present their offers in an easily findable manner. The young people can exchange information about MINT in a safe space and have the opportunity to easily find offers in their area. MINT actors, such as teachers, also exchange ideas in digital collaboration groups.