The concept of Schule MIT Wissenschaft* (SMW) takes its inspiration from the rich tradition of the Science and Engineering Program for Teachers (SEPT) that is sponsored by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Since 1989, the MIT SEPT program has held annual workshops for secondary-school teachers from all parts of the world. These workshops take place over the course of a week in which leading MIT faculty members and researchers present the latest developments in science and engineering. Through MIT-SEPT, participants experience the unique spirit that is the hallmark of MIT, namely the pursuit of knowledge through an exchange of ideas across disciplines and its application to real world problems.
A unique feature of MIT is its ability to bring together experts from a wide variety of areas to work across disciplines in solving problems. Continuing in this tradition, the MIT Club of Germany developed Schule MIT Wissenschaft as an interdisciplinary advanced training program for teachers in science and technology. SMW conferences and network are open to teachers from all over Germany. Participants come together for stimulating intellectual content and to share experiences and ideas for developing new pedagogical approaches.
SMW is guided by the spirit of “Universitas”, which is a melding of ideas and experiences from across a wide spectrum of disciplines. In this way, SMW fosters an environment within which teachers can explore together ideas that are outside their own particular areas of expertise.
The annual SMW conferences are a platform for building a nationwide network of highly motivated teachers in which exchanges across the various federal states are possible. Sustaining this effort, the SMW website makes it possible to view the lectures from all annual events online.
The city that hosts SMW events also benefits from the high quality of this program. Through the participation of local institutions in the workshops, the host city has a platform for displaying itself as a scientific center within a larger national context.
Ultimately, Schule MIT Wissenschaft is dedicated to attracting young people to specialize in areas where there is future economic viability. Under the motto, “Begeisterer begeistern” (inspiring inspirers), we seek to attract teachers who are burning with enthusiasm for their subjects, who will gain insights into the latest developments from researchers, and who can inspire students to pursue careers in science and technology.
* Schule MIT Wissenschaft (School MIT Science) plays on the German word “mit” (with) with its obvious resemblance to MIT. In the name Schule MIT Wissenschaft, the double meaning is made clear by the use of capital letters.