Through offerings such as JuniorSTUDIUM, which enables prospective students to attend lectures and seminars, and LeibnizLAB, which brings experiences to schools, the team has already reached several thousand students. On March 4th, uniKIK celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Unique in the university landscape
“In its form, uniKIK is unique in the university landscape. Projects are adapted dynamically and flexibly to new generations of students. Many student employees work passionately in the uniKIK team and ensure easy access to the target group,” says LUH President Prof. Dr. “Getting students interested in studying, especially in MINT subjects, preparing them well, and supporting them early in comparing their expectations with reality,” stresses Volker Ebbing. “This is more important today than ever before.”
uniKIK Background: First-year students in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology in particular often have difficulties with the mathematical content of their subject. Many people do not know enough about the course content and have misconceptions. These problems were already known at the Institute of Applied Mathematics at Leibniz University in Hannover in the 1990s. In order to address this, the idea of a foundation emerged that would make mathematics more attractive to students and create a network with schools and the educational landscape in Lower Saxony in order to dispel misconceptions about the subject, increase enrollment numbers and reduce dropout rates.
In 1998, under the supervision of mathematician Dr. Dieter Lohs's first projects were institutionalized at “uniKIK” in January 2000. The uniKIK team has been part of the Leibniz School of Education (LSE) since 2019, and since 2021 has been working with Prof. Dr. Till Bruckerman (Professor of Research of Teaching and Learning in Innovative and Extracurricular Learning and Development Spaces) is the Scientific Director.
The first project was Gauß-AG. Since 1998, approximately 4,750 students have participated in holiday courses. They become researchers themselves and experiment in small groups in mathematics, natural sciences and technology. This was followed by the JuniorSTUDIUM programme, which has so far reached around 3,700 potential students. Students, interns and volunteers gain deep insights into various topics.
About 1,745 students have participated in SommerUNI (“girls only”) since 1999, and up to 4,400 students have participated in WinterUNI since 2000. The “4 Science Challenge” is an online competition that attracts groups from all over Germany. Since 2001, approximately 4,000 students have undertaken MINT assignments. uni:fit's intensive mathematics courses have prepared around 8,300 prospective students in their first year of study since 2002.
The LeibnizLAB project enables the team to travel to schools and thus reach students who previously had no contact with the university. So far, about 22,000 young people have benefited from this program. And what's completely new: in 2023, offers aimed at youth research are gathered in the Student Research Center “Leibniz4U”.
Seminars for teachers
In addition to project days and other courses for students, uniKIK also addresses teachers: the seminars of the Educational School-University (DASU) Working Group have had around 5,500 participants since 1999.
On 4 March, uniKIK will celebrate its anniversary with a conference on extracurricular learning – from 2:30 pm in the LUH lobby (Welfengarten 1). Above all, we invite students, teachers, cooperation partners inside and outside LUH, as well as parents and other interested parties.
Program and registration: www.lse.uni-hannover.de/de/transfer/schulprojekte/25
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”