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The programme will support mathematics, IT, natural sciences & technology (MINT) education for young women through tailored courses at rural Bavarian schools.

  • The MINT-Impulse project aims to reach 600 girls & young women per year at select schools from rural areas across Bavaria, focused on those facing barriers to access extracurricular programmes.
  • Female TUM instructors will work on modern research projects, side-by-side with the participants for one school day, offering hands-on exposure to the research field whilst also providing much needed role models.
  • The project offers participants a protected space to gain personal experience in natural sciences and technology, helping to boost self-confidence in their MINT abilities.
  • The Hg Foundation will support MINT-Impulse an der Schule for an initial 3-year period worth €750,000, and will be accompanied by a longitudinal study to trace long-term benefits of the programme.

The Technical University of Munich (“TUM”) today announces that it has formed a €750,000 partnership with The Hg Foundation, a grant-giving charity with a defined focus on education and technology.

Despite the propagation of equal opportunity in Germany, many professional fields in mathematics, natural sciences, IT and technology are still regarded as male domains. The effects of gender stereotyping remain strong and young women who decide against role-conforming occupations need support. Many still have little opportunity to gain regular practical experience in MINT subjects outside traditional school lessons and this lack of exposure can lead to a low MINT self-concept. In 2019, 48% of all pupils graduating from secondary school in Germany were female. In the same year, however, only 21% of all young people who chose a career with a focus on MINT subjects were women. TUM sees positive personal experience in working with MINT topics can counteract this issue, yet only a few such programmes exist.

The partnership between TUM and The Hg Foundation will support MINT-Impulse an der Schule – a mobile programme tailored specifically for girls in grades 9 and 10 (between ages 14 and 16 years old). MINT-Impulse projects focus on practical learning and will take place at various schools across Bavaria that face barriers accessing extracurricular programmes, either due to lack of resource, or simply because they are in more remote, rural locations. Female TUM instructors who are active in current research projects at TUM will travel to their students providing project work, side-by-side for one school day, offering them hands-on exposure to the research field, whilst also providing role models for participants. Equipped with first project knowledge from an online meeting before the on-site meeting, the girls will meet their instructors at their school and work in small groups on their projects. The programme is completed by an online-follow-up.

The Hg Foundation was formed in 2020 with the goal to make an impact on the development of skills most required for employment within the technology industry, focusing on individuals who may otherwise experience barriers to access. The Hg Foundation is backed by Hg, a leading software and services investor.  

Grant funding from The Hg Foundation will enable more staff to be hired exclusively for the MINT-Impulse programme. It will also fund the expansion and development of new courses, source better material resources and enable gender-sensitive seminars for educators. The support will also commission an evaluation programme and scientific longitudinal panel study to determine the long-term effect of the programme. This research will inform the international student lab community and provide evidence needed to support further work in this field.

Christine Hager, Team leader at ExploreTUM, said: “Science and technology – that’s not for girls!” Unfortunately, you still hear such sentences. With our programme, we want to counteract this persistent stereotype. And the first test runs at the schools show: The mix of exciting project topics, hands-on exposure and authentic role-models works! After the project day many girls are enthusiastic – about the topics, the female TUM instructors and especially about their own abilities in this environment. We are excited to partner with The Hg Foundation, who shares our vision and who have been very entrepreneurial and pragmatic in their support. Their help will not only support the programme itself but also further important research on the impact and success factors.”

Cornelius Becker, Trustee at The Hg Foundation, added: “Across many of The Hg Foundation’s partnerships we have been strong believers in the effectiveness of in-person mentoring and role-models. We are delighted to be supporting a programme that uses these tools to empower young women to take a conscious decision about furthering interest and skills in MINT subjects. TUM is one of the world’s leading technical research universities and they have put forward some truly inspiring female instructors for the programme. We look forward to seeing what we can achieve together.”

The Technical University of Munich (TUM)

The Technical University of Munich (TUM) is one of Europe’s top universities. It is committed to excellence in research and teaching, interdisciplinary education and the active promotion of promising young scientists. Its unique range of disciplines includes engineering, natural sciences, life sciences, medicine, political and social sciences as well as management. The university forges strong links with companies and scientific institutions across the world, and is represented internationally with locations on several continents, among them the first German academic venture abroad, TUM Asia. Its main campuses span several large sites in Bavaria and southern Germany, which are also home to the TUM Schools and Departments. TUM was also one of the first universities in Germany to be named a University of Excellence, regularly ranks among the best European universities in international rankings and is one of the most renowned technical universities worldwide.

TUM Entdeckerinnen

“TUM Entdeckerinnen” (TUM Female Explorers), a programme of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) tailored specifically to support girls in the mathematics, information technology, natural sciences and technology (STEM) subjects. Department chairs at TUM prepare compelling and up-to-date research topics within the STEM subjects as project courses for girls in grades 9 and 10 between the ages of 14 and 16 (one day as an on-site course, plus preparation and follow-up). For more information visit:  https://www.explore.tum.de/en/explore/mintimpulse/

About The Hg Foundation:

The Hg Foundation is a grant-giving charity with a defined focus on education and technology. Our goal is to support those who may otherwise experience barriers to access, with the acquisition of skills that are often required for employment within the technology industry. We aim to achieve this by providing funding and operational support to charitable schemes and partnerships across the UK, USA and Europe where we can demonstrate measurable, long-term and scalable impact and make a difference to those that need it most.

These partnerships include Sponsors for Educational Opportunity’s SEO Tech Developer programme in the USA; a partnership with Imperial College London providing a variety of interventions for Further Maths A-Level students; upReach’s Tech500 programme which looks to support 500 undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds who are looking to secure graduate roles in the technology sector; Generation France’s new tech-focused partnership, supporting unemployed and underemployed individuals into life‑changing tech careers in France; and The Tutor Trust, which is testing a pilot hybrid online /offline tutoring scheme to support interventions under the UK’s National Tutoring Programme. The Hg Foundation is registered Charity no. 1189216.

For more information, please visit the website at www.thehgfoundation.com.


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