In view of the ever growing discrepancy in both European countries between the demand for specialists in research in Maths, IT, science and engineering and the very low number of school leavers who choose further study in these areas, the project “Inventiveness yesterday and today – impetus for innovation taking the example of vehicle construction in Baden-Württemberg and biotechnology in Finland” should encourage 15-16 year-old-pupils to contemplate the attraction and the social importance of inventiveness and innovation in science and technology, to contribute to and collaborate on a concrete scientific and technological research project and to therefore include scientific and technological courses as an option when making choices about their studies. At the same time, the main research areas of both regions, vehicle construction and biotechnology, would be addressed. Parallel to the scientific and technological project groups in both countries, which enable the pupils to themselves become inventors through the development of electric vehicles in the first year and the work on biotechnological inventions in the second year, a group of musicians and dancers will work on the musical “Ignition Spark” on Carl Benz´ invention of the automobile as an ignition spark of our modern society in the first year and on a dance on inventiveness in the second year. Through the binational team work during the project week in Germany and in Finland the pupils experience intercultural team spirit and the internationality of music, dance and scientific research.

The project runs for two years. The first year will be about vehicle construction. In the course of this year, respective musical project groups in Germany and Finland will work on the musical “Ignition Spark”. The work will be split between 14 singers and musicians in Germany and 14 dancers in Finland. At the same time, 14 pupils in Germany and 14 pupils in Finland will develop electric vehicles in their scientific and technological project groups. Through checklists, evaluation forms, monthly meetings of all relevant teachers and the project coordinator and subsequent conversations between both national coordinators, the project will be synchronized and monitored. The national project work will result in a joint project week in Germany, in which the musical group will, after a week of rehearsals, present the musical, and the scientific-technological group will build vehicles with alternative drives in binational teams competing against each other. This competition will be presented in an exhibition.

The second year will concern biotechnology. In the course of this year the national music and dance project groups will work on a dance on inventiveness. At the same time the national scientific and technological groups will learn about and develop innovative ideas in the field of biotechnology. The project work will result in a joint project week in Finland, during which the dance will be performed after a week of rehearsal and a binational competition on biotechnological innovations will be held, the results of which will be presented in an exhibition.

As a result of the project, in addition to the musical performances and the exhibitions on the scientific and technological competition, two modules will be developed, one on the topic of vehicles with alternative drives and the other on the topic of biotechnology. These modules will be used in science and technology lessons at both schools in the upper secondary school level and will also be passed on to other schools through teacher training and advanced teacher training. The experiences and results of the project will be used at both schools to further develop the support available for outstanding pupils in Music and Dance and Science and Technology. Furthermore, the project materials will be published in English on a homepage for use all over Europe.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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