German Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the TUMlab at the Deutsches Museum yesterday. Every year the laboratory gives approximately 3,000 secondary school students the opportunity to conduct experiments themselves and to design and build with technology. Steinmeier was impressed with the Technical University of Munich (TUM) approach to generating enthusiasm for science and engineering among children and youth.
Federal President Steinmeier and his wife Elke Büdenbender observed a course in which secondary school students programmed Lego robots to independently find their way through Munich on a street map.
In addition to robotics, the TUMlab offers courses in chemistry, physics, and environmental technology. The experiments are oriented towards current research, such as the development of vehicles for autonomous driving. The children and youth are instructed by TUM students who also serve as role models, giving the participants an impression of the university. At the same time, university students in teacher training curricula gather valuable experience for their future careers.
Student research in Berchtesgaden and Garching as well
The experimental lab is a collaborative effort on the part of TUM and its strategic partner, the Deutsches Museum. The Museum's Director General Prof. Wolfgang M. Heckl also holds the Chair of Scientific Communication at TUM.
The lab is a part of the TUM concept for generating enthusiasm for science and technology among children and youth at place of learning outside of schools by letting them experience the rewards of research first-hand. Additional examples are the Student Research Center Berchtesgadener Land and the Science Labs on the Garching Campus.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier returns to TUM
During his visit, Frank-Walter Steinmeier also met with TUM President Wolfgang A. Herrmann. As a minister in the German Federal Chancellery, Steinmeier played a key role in the realization of the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II), which TUM put into operation in 2005.