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Ten Days at Burg fürsteneck

Around sixty students of German school grades seven to nine can follow their (specific) learning interests at Burg Fürsteneck, located between Fulda and Bad Hersfeld in Germany. They come together for ten days during school holidays to participate in an extracurricular educational program. This includes various activities such as sports and leisure in addition to the majors and electives in different subject areas.

At an open day the students present their results allowing parents and guests to get an impression of everyday life at the academy.

The Hessian Student Academy has been held since 2004 and is supported by the Beilstein-Institut since 2011. Until 2010, the event was aimed exclusively at students and high school students. In 2011, the offer was extended by a Student Academy for Middle Schools.

The 6th Hessian Student Academy for Middle Schools took place from 17 to 26 July 2016. Five main courses in the fields of chemistry, mathematics, physics, art and culture and humanities were offered. The elective course program included video making, sampling of electronic music, upcycling, voice and body as well as sports and team building.


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Guest afternoon of the 6th Hessian Student Academy for Middle Schools

 

On last week's Tuesday – July 26th, 2016 – the guest afternoon of the 6th Hessian Student Academy for Middle Schools took place at Burg Fürsteneck. About 60 students of German school grades seven to nine presented the results of ten days of research and creativity to their relatives.

The students had chosen one of the five main courses, which ranged from chemistry, mathematics, physics to art and culture and a debate "club" in this year. In the main course on chemistry, the participants focused on the historical and scientific roots of the periodic table of elements. They dealt with the system of the arrangement of the chemical elements and their characteristics leading to this classification. After a brief insight into the fundamentals of electrical science, the students of the physics course dealt with semiconductors and built solar cars, traffic lights, electronic organs and light-dependent sound generators with very simple means. Incidentally, the different strategies of boys and girls that were used to build the switches – fast and pragmatic here, thoughtful and accurate there – served as illustrative material reflecting gender-related characteristics. The beauty of geometrical figures was the main topic of the mathematics course. The participants analyzed the mathematical backgrounds and various techniques like the Euclidean plane (which is used by parquet and tile setters), the golden ratio that is often used by photographers and the Fibonacci numbers that can be found in nature.

In the debate "club", the students learned to convince with arguments, to avoid and create rhetorical traps, and to use their body language to present themselves. How to give impromptu speeches was just as focused as the ability to gain quick insights into new topics and the presentation to the plenum. Improvisation was also required in the art and culture course. The students created short plays and dance performances to express their personal view on the world. Experiences from their real-life were implemented and an entertaining program was created.

In addition to the main course, the participants could choose two elective courses. This year, the offer included videos for all, sampling in electronic music, upcycling, voice and body, sports and teambuilding. And even the results of these less focused courses were impressive and ranged from short films with action and artistic aspects, over music productions with everyday objects that were captured and processed electronically, and the process of converting useless and thrown away material into new products to the teamwork experience that was created by coordinating the transport of a huge water barrel that had to be moved uphill and downhill on a rescue blanket.

Impressions

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The Hessian Student Academy is funded by:

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