Editorial Newsletter March 2022

"We all have our own story of how we came to the natural sciences and materials science. After graduating from high school, I did not want to decide whether to take a theoretical path in physics or a practical path in mechanical engineering. At this point, I was happy about materials science, which allowed me to do both due to its interdisciplinary nature. Without a personal contact, I probably wouldn't have discovered this subject for myself."

Katharina Bollmann and Manuel Best

Do you also remember the story of your professional journey into the MatWerk community? The introductory thoughts to this month's editorial by Katharina Bollmann, national spokesperson for the Young DGM local groups, illustrate that promoting young talent needs personal support and role models. 

The acquisition and responsible use of knowledge are vital prerequisites for meeting future challenges at all sociopolitical levels. This development must take root early to bear good fruit later on. There has been a downward trend in the number of students studying materials science and materials engineering throughout Germany in the last five years. The example of Saarbrücken makes this very clear: While 60 new students enrolled in the subject in the 2016/2017 winter semester, the 2021/2022 winter semester will see only 23 new students. The decreasing number of first-year students also impacts the activity and outreach of the Young DGM local groups. Despite financial support from the DGM, our association of active young scientists lacks new personnel to organize events and social activities for local students on site.  

"How will we be able to attract new talent to volunteer in the Young DGM again?" -This central question is what the ten-member core team of the Young DGM wants to discuss in a closed meeting in Koblenz from 16 - 19 June 2022. The three-day event aims to develop ideas, cross-media concepts, and on-site events to raise the visibility of materials science and materials engineering at universities. Manuel Best, a national spokesperson of the Young DGM, reiterates that new formats and media such as podcasts, school visits, and events for students have a tremendous untapped potential to generate enthusiasm for MatWerk among a younger audience.  

The DGM agrees and endorses the position paper "Further Education and Training for Teachers of Mathematics and Science" published in March. Drawn up by the five major mathematics and science societies (Dachverband der Geowissenschaften (DVGeo), Deutsche Mathematiker-Vereinigung (DMV), Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), Verband Biologie, Biowissenschaften und Biomedizin in Deutschland (VBIO)), the position paper calls for contemporary teaching development in a digitalized world and high-quality further training for science and technology teachers as part of the learning of teaching development at schools. It requires qualified offers, specialists, and financial and organizational securities to secure and sustain the level of quality in natural science school subjects. 

"The burden must be shared among several shoulders," says Katharina Bollmann. Her plea: "There are many conventional approaches and creative ideas with a high potential to increase the visibility of our subject certainly, for example, in schools. But school visits, the creation of experimentation sets, and podcasts need more committed people. We are looking for materials scientists to implement these ideas with us."  

If you would like to get actively and creatively involved in promoting young talent or have suggestions or questions, don't hesitate to send an email to bundessprecher@jungedgm.de 

The DGM e.V. and the young DGM are looking forward to supporting the new generation of young materials scientists.

 

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