On June 8, 2015 SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) announced it is a new member of Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V., a nationwide German initiative for education and entrepreneurship. The network of Wissensfabrik includes around 120 dedicated companies and foundations, 2,500 schools and 180 start-ups. The latest IT project, which is supported by SAP, other industry partners, and academic experts, is committed to explaining real-world IT cases within a playful context and to provide first-hand introductory experiences for young students.
For 10th anniversary the Wissensfabrik invited their members to celebrate on June 8th, 2015. 230 representatives of the companies followed the invitation to Ludwigshafen, BASF.
Kate Maleike moderated the birthday celebration program and took the guests on a journey from the past through the present to the future of the Wissensfabrik and provided some surprises and highlights for the guests as well.
Mentors of Wissensfabrik, kids who took part in Wissensfabrik projects in school or Kindergarten (e.g. KiTEC), winners of WECONOMY and videos of events witnessed the success of the Wissensfabrik since its establishment. A quiz invited the guests with eighties technology TED to participate and asked for attention. It showed who paid attention to the videos and could remember e.g. one of the Wissensfabrik founder’s name (Dr. Rainer Follmann) or the colour of Angela Merkels Jacket (“pink”) on a Wissensfabrik visit.
As a new member SAP supports the Wissensfabrik IT Lighthouseproject with its IT expertise. The project rollout is planned for spring 2016. The project aims to introduce young students to the technical background on which the digital world is based. It wishes to stimulate creativity through IT projects at Kindergarten and school. In cooperation with University Oldenburg the Wissensfabrik developes IT modules, gathers feedback from members, teachers and students about comprehensibility and applicability for the rollout 2016. The miscellaneous modules impart in a practical and child-appropriate manner how the Internet works, what is behind the process of sending a fax, how a barcode scanner knows the prize of a product in supermarket, how a power circuit works and how it is then possible to play the piano with tapping bananas.
At the Wissensfabrik Forum two students from Privatgymnasium Schwetzingen showed impressively how even young students in IT class can learn the basis of coding in a simple way using Scratch and MakeyMakey.
Christiane Bauer (SAP Young Thinkers Program) at the Wissensfabrik-Forum: “I am so impressed how fast the next generation is able learn about IT related topics and to use it. The heterogeneous set up of students, teachers, university and economy is so profitable and the change of perspective so fertile. I realized how great the combination of curiosity and long lasting experience is.”
Outlook into future
In a videomessage ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst encouraged to have the courage and to try to fulfill personal dreams and not to give up too early.
Afterwards the guests were asked to become creative and bring up ideas and solution proposals about the Wissensfabrik, its cooperation, membership concept and projects until 2025. Six results were taken as goals for 2025.