From Kinder Uni to Jugend Forscht

30 March 2011

The diversity of German talent support is particularly well demonstrated in the sciences, where a rich variety of competitions and other initiatives function as effective and important arenas for discovering and developing talents.

Lábak a köveken - Photo: D. Sharon Pruitt

Germany is widely known for its outstanding results in music, sports and sciences, just to name a few. Many notable achievements by German-born musicians, sportsmen, philosophers and inventors are part of our global heritage today. Within these fields, the sciences may be of special interest to anyone concerned with the diversity of talent support, as this area has inspired a rich variety of competitions and other opportunities for contributing to the development of gifted and talented learners.

These competitions and other initiatives in Germany function as effective and important arenas for discovering and developing talents as they create spaces for challenging and measuring their skills and let them present their ideas fuelled by theoretical and practical problems. A number of these events are managed and funded by the state authorities, while some operate with private sector support and involvement.

Some inspiring examples of such initiatives in Germany include:

Jugend-forscht (’Youth researches’) is a national youth science competition to discover and recognise emerging talents in the field of natural sciences, mathematics and technology. With more than 10,000 participants annually, it is the biggest youth science and technology competition in Europe. You can read more about the contest here:

iENA, the International Trade Fair for „Ideas-Inventions-New Products” is a platform to showcase the inventions and product ideas of exhibitors from Germany and all over the world. During its 62 years of operation, iENA has become the springboard into the market for many ideas and products by creating a regular meeting place for independent inventors, licensees and producers.

Die Kinder Uni (Children’s University) is a nation-wide talent support initiative embedded in the European Children’s University Network. The objective of Die Kinder Uni is to provide science related lectures, workshops or demonstrations for children and young people typically aged from 7 to 14 years. Most of the activities take place at university premises and imitate academic life to a certain extent. For more details please see the homepage of Die Kinder Uni here or visit the central website of the European network here .

Another opportunity for children with a special aptitude and interest in mathematics to show and challenge their talents is to participate in various championships of mental calculation taking place throughout the states and the whole of Germany: