Being the largest natural and engineering science institute in Germany, The German Aerospace Center (DLR) capitalises on the fascination for aeronautics and Space exploration to get children and young people interested in science and technology. DLR has a sense of social duty to promote young researchers and, for this reason, offers a wide spectrum of student and youth programmes:
DLR_School_Lab – Out of school and… into the lab!
DLR_School_Lab familiarises students at non-vocational secondary schools with the practical aspects of natural and engineering science through interesting experiments, the idea being that this will motivate them to pursue their interest in these areas.
Germany is a partner of NASA's international Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama, where students and teachers alike from more than 30 countries can take part in a ten-day long 'official astronaut training camp'. What they get is an introduction to the technology involved in space exploration; they have the chance to complete a practical training programme and take a tour of the Marshall Space Flight Center. DLR identifies the German participants each year – a female and a male student – and finances their journey.
The "Jugend forscht" (Young Scientists) competition has been embellished for several years with two special prizes offered by DLR. The prizes in question are, firstly, the "Special Space Exploration Prize", for work which has a particular bearing on space exploration and, secondly, the “Robotics Prize” for entries to do with this technology of the future.
Girls'Day - annually at DLR
As part of a worldwide social initiative, DLR is involved with Girls’Day, a day showcasing future prospects for girls, and gives information on training options and job profiles/perspectives in the aeronautics and space exploration industries.
On Girls'Day, young women can spend their time 'at the coalface' of the day-to-day activities of a technical research institute. This initiative aims to get girls and young women interested in technical subjects in particular and show them that there is a wide-ranging spectrum of professions outside the jobs that were 'traditionally' the preserve of women. It is an attempt to draw the attention of the public to the strengths and capabilities of young women. Girls’Day is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the Confederation of German Trade Unions (DGB) and the D21 Initiative, a public/private partnership headed by captains of German industry and business.