MINT-EC is the German National Excellence Network of Upper Secondary Schools with a distinctive profile in Mathematics, Computer Science (Informatik), Science (Naturwissenschaft) and Technology (STEM). In total there are 325 certified schools in Germany. The International School of Bremen was awarded the MINT-EC status in 2015 and is the only International School in Germany and one of the three schools in the State of Bremen that is part of this prestigious network that is supervised by the KMK (Kultusministerkonferenz).
Our inclusion in the STEM network confirms the higher profile of science in the School and raises its profile in the community. Being part of the network also gives students, teachers and administrators extra opportunities to apply for high profile funding programs and events.
To maintain this status, the School must provide consistently excellent teaching in all STEM areas. This is provided by a highly committed team who provide extracurricular activities that help develop the STEM profile of our students. These include support clubs for Mathematics, ECDL (European Computers Driver’s License), Coding and Science.
The students' knowledge of STEM is further encouraged by using project-led learning activities including:
- the drop tower project for school students (DroPS) project, in collaboration with the Centre of Applied Space Technology and Microgravity (ZARM) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR);
- the process of designing, developing and building of solar pumps, solar cars and boats;
- the Cubes in Space project, a idoodledu inc., programme in collaboration with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.
- collaborating with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) to develop experiments on board the research vessel and icebreaker Polarstern;
- the Geoscience project in collaboration with the Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM);
- the design, prototyping and development of a rocket that is then printed out on a 3D printer and launched.
STEM is also supported by regular field trips which are designed to motivate our students and to allow them to see the wider world of science and technology. We have annual visits to such prestigious sites as:
- the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN);
- the Universite de Geneve where our students attend workshops in Biology, Chemistry and Physics,;
- the North American Space Agency (NASA);
- the TX/ RX Labs in Houston, Texas;
- the iFLY Indoors Skydiving Facility where students experience terminal velocity, drag and upthrust;
- the combined Biology and Spanish departments’ field trip to Gredos;
- the Explore Science Festival at Burgerpark
- the IGCSE visit to the NEMO Science Museum and Micropia in Amsterdam.
To develop and emphasise participation and competition, students can further compete in:
- the drop tower project for school students (DroPS) project;
- Jugend forscht (for ages 15 - 21);
- Schüler experimentieren (for ages 10 - 14);
- the International Schools Mathematics Teacher Foundation (ISMTF) Competition;
- the British Council School Slam Programme;
- the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Competition;
- the Cubes in Space Competition;
- the ISB annual science fair;
- the Hackathon Bremen;
- the MINT400 - Das Haupstadtforum.
In order to recognise the students’ excellent profile in STEM, students who participate in these activities can obtain a MINT-EC certificate. This certificate clusters and documents the special commitment of students to STEM during their entire school career. In addition to academic achievement, extracurricular STEM activities are included in the assessment. The students must meet minimum requirements in three areas: "Professional competence", "Scientific work" and "Additional STEM activities".
In order to maintain a record of the activities developed by the students, the School has created a STEM form which can be accessed using the QR code on the STEM school board or by clicking here.
This certificate is recognised by Universities and Businesses, offering a reliable classification of the students’ achievement in STEM that is independent of the School System of the country. In addition, it is an effective tool for STEM talent development, reflected by the students' choices in school and extracurricular activities.