The zdi summer holidays 2021: Hundreds of holiday courses despite the pandemic

Whether digital, on site or in a hybrid form - during the summer holidays, the zdi networks and zdi student laboratories again offered numerous holiday courses for children and young people who wanted to deal with STEM during their holidays. There were over 300 different courses and workshops to choose from, including sending a balloon into space, programming your own escape room and working with a CNC machine. In more summer holiday courses than ever before, the participants got to know scientific and technical content and phenomena in a playful and everyday way.

During the past year and a half of the corona pandemic, children and young people in particular have shown true greatness. Many leisure activities could not take place at all or only in a reduced form, contact with peers was shifted to the digital space and they had to show a lot of patience and understanding for the restrictions caused by the pandemic. The joy was all the greater when the pandemic situation improved shortly before the summer holidays. Therefore, the zdi networks and zdi student laboratories have been able to plan and implement an extensive MINT holiday program. More than 300 holiday courses and workshops took place throughout NRW, in which several hundred schoolchildren dealt with their favorite STEM topics. No sign of boredom during the summer holidays.

Thanks to different forms - from purely online events to mixed formats with online elements to classic on-site courses - the offer was very diverse. It is successful because different partners work together at zdi - and because the focus is on research and talent strengths.

"zdi offers young people spaces to experiment and experience," explains Klaus Kaiser, the parliamentary state secretary responsible for zdi in the NRW Ministry of Science. “The zdi networks arouse curiosity about MINT areas in a special way. The close cooperation with partners from universities, companies and municipalities helps to realize so many different courses. This is unique in Germany and serves as a role model.”

The courses and workshops of the zdi community take place all year round!

To the course overview:

Vocational orientation during the summer holidays

In many of the zdi holiday courses, the students were shown not only practical skills but also the MINT professional world: A large part of the courses was designed as in-depth career and study orientation in the MINT area. Such offers in North Rhine-Westphalia are financed via the so-called zdi-BSO-MINT program, which is supported by the two sponsors, the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Regional Directorate of North Rhine-Westphalia of the Federal Employment Agency. With the support program, offers for students can be implemented quickly and unbureaucratically. This nationwide funding program is also unique in Germany.

"The MINT disciplines are becoming increasingly important in all areas of life," explains Torsten Withake, head of the NRW regional office of the Federal Employment Agency. "It is therefore important to us to give young people the opportunity to try out these subjects early on, perhaps to discover their own STEM talents and to get to know possible perspectives for a professional future. This is also an important contribution to securing skilled workers in NRW.”

Adventure School: zdi network Düsseldorf cooperates with the city

Several hundred young people from the 1st to the 13th grade took part in the holiday program "Adventure School“ of the city of Düsseldorf. Due to a cooperation between the state capital and the zdi network Düsseldorf, the students were able to deal primarily with topics related to STEM. Thanks to the cooperation between the zdi network and the city of Düsseldorf, resources could be pooled and even more students reached. In the courses and workshops of the "Adventure School" the focus is on the fun factor. It's about actively participating, trying things out and discovering and strengthening your own skills. The entire offer was accompanied by teachers and experts and was mostly free of charge.

Eva (left), Rithika, Dhairyaa and Vasylisa work in the "Young Engineers" team at the "Adventure School".


Students interested in STEM at the "Adventure School". © City of Düsseldorf/Melanie Zanin

MINT community NRW: Easy registration, clear overview

With the introduction of the new community platform, the MINT-Community NRW, the registration procedure for courses and workshops has been automated and significantly simplified. Interested parties can get a quick overview of the entire range of courses in their region on the MINT-Community NRW. A course can be selected specifically by date, location and topic and registered directly there. Pupils can also have a digital CV created with a course overview and the badges they have earned. A CV like this will definitely come in handy when you apply for an internship next time!

Click here for the MINT community NRW:

Looking for zdi networks in your region? Here you get to the network overview.

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