On Wednesday, 25.01.23, the kick-off at Fraunhofer MEVIS took place with students of the vocational high school class BGy25-G of the school center in Bremen-Walle (SZ Walle) and their teachers. The partnership aims to get students from SZ Walle excited about science and research in digital medicine and to encourage them to deal with the many aspects of the subject practically. Together, Fraunhofer MEVIS wants to promote talents and gifts and thus attract researchers with diverse life backgrounds for the digital medicine of tomorrow and, at the same time, contribute to more educational equality.
The Walle School Center has particular expertise in the training of health professionals. In addition to the upper secondary school, the vocational school at the three locations teaches training professions such as medical, dental, and nursing assistants. The advanced course in health at the vocational grammar school is mainly chosen by students who are interested in medicine and are considering studying it.
The starting point is the provision of material and tools for the computer science lessons of the vocational high school with practical work examples from the everyday life of Fraunhofer MEVIS. Subject content and transfer formats the partners already share (internships, the artist residency program STEAM Imaging, and events for friends & family) were presented. Jan Wicke, Deputy Headmaster of the Walle School Centre, explained the opportunities that could arise from the solidified partnership and the new formats were presented:
In the second part of the kick-off, a workshop was held with the teachers. To explore the possibilities, but also the opportunities and risks of new procedures in digital medicine, other teachers of the class were involved. Interdisciplinary links and content-related references in the curricula were explored, and further perspectives on topics of digital medicine were discussed.
With this partnership, Fraunhofer MEVIS wants to promote the talents and gifts of prospective high school graduates from the Walle district of Bremen, inspire them to study STEM subjects, and accompany them on their way to university and into research. The district is one of the disadvantaged areas in Bremen in socio-economic terms and has an above-average proportion of citizens with an immigrant background. Walle’s high school graduation rate is also well below the Bremen average. Children from non-academic households, disproportionately represented in the Walle district, are less likely to study and less likely to reach the next level of education. In addition, there is often a lack of role models in their own families to show them ways to study and encourage them to make this decision.
In the next step, in addition to experiments in the MR laboratory, workshops by MEVIS staff and “Zoom Jumps,” in which requested experts give short expert presentations, an enhancement training for the extended group of teachers, in which the basics of digital imaging will be taught, will take place.