The first DLR_School_Lab opened in 2000 at DLR in Göttingen. It was Professor Gerd E. A. Meier, then director of the DLR Institute of Fluid Mechanics (now the Institute of Aerodynamics and Flow Technology), who had the idea. On his initiative a radio laboratory was established in Göttingen for school students. It was later expanded into a large, representative student lab.
This first DLR_School_Lab was so popular with teachers and students that it was decided to set up additional student labs at other DLR locations. There are now DLR_School_Labs in Berlin, Braunschweig, Bremen, Köln, Göttingen, Neustrelitz, Oberpfaffenhofen, Lampoldshausen/Stuttgart and at four partner universities: RWTH Aachen, TU Dortmund, TU Dresden and TU Hamburg-Harburg.
In the meantime over 300,000 students have attended DLR_School_Labs and experienced for themselves the "fascination of research" by conducting their own experiments.
That the DLR_School_Labs can enthuse children and young people long-term for the natural sciences has also been scientifically verified. A dissertation based on a study undertaken at Kiel University came to the following conclusion, based on a survey of several hundred students: Even long after their visit to a DLR_School_Lab, student interest in the natural sciences remains higher than it was before. And the many positive reactions from students and teachers have also convinced us that the DLR_School_Labs can make an important contribution toward stimulating and diversified school instruction. One of the most frequent comments of the young people is, "No kidding, physics is really fun!".
DLR would like to express here its gratitude to the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of National Research Centers and to the various German federal states for their support in establishing and operating the DLR_School_Labs.