Title: The Early Bird in STEM Education – The PepperMINT Project

Lisa Michael, Tobias Rudolph

Research Center of Post-Mining, Technische Hochschule Georg Agricola, Germany

Event: GeoKarlsruhe 2021

Date: 2021

DOI: 10.48380/dggv-q9bx-zk18

In order to cope with the wide-ranging field of geoscientific and geotechnical research it is essential to invest in the education of the next generation’s scientists and engineers. Many German high-school graduates decide to pursue a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) degree. Unfortunately, the dropout rates in STEM education are high and students struggle with basic subjects like science and mathematics where they are lacking knowledge from school [1]. With the project “PepperMINT“, funded by RAG-Stiftung, we present a new approach to close gaps in school STEM education and prepare freshmen for a successful beginning of their studies. PepperMINT is developed as a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) hosted by TH Georg Agricola (THGA), offering digital courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering. Students will be introduced to the lectures and exercises of the THGA by the integration of interactive and applied examples. For example, the mathematics module of trigonometry can be taught by applying geotechnical-surveying technology or geomonitoring methods like earth-observation. The concept allows students to get to know the area of geoscience and geotechnical engineering before they decide in which area they want to pursue their academic career. With the conception of a MOOC, the e-learning platform can be used independently from the location and available time. The project PepperMINT has the potential to gain attention from pupils and students all over Germany, to attract the geoscientists and engineers of the next generation and will therefore improve the value chain of mining and the circular economy.


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