BUTTING Academy: Visit by Federal Minister of Education, Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka

The BUTTING Academy welcomed a special guest to Knesebeck Castle at the end of August. The Federal Minister of Education and Research, Professor Doctor Johanna Wanka, paid a visit to the local network of the Tiny Tots Science Corner. On a bright and sunny day, the representatives of the local network of the Tiny Tots Science Corner in the Gifhorn district welcomed the Federal Minister of Education and Research to the BUTTING Academy in Knesebeck Castle.

In her capacity as German patron of the educational initiative, Professor Doctor Wanka visited the local network, which differs in several respects from the other around 220 local networks throughout Germany. As early as eight years ago, a number of companies committed themselves to a project managed by the BUTTING Academy, as the local network of the Germany-wide foundation: IAV GmbH, Continental Teves AG & Co. oHG, Volksbank BraWo Foundation, the district Red Cross association, the Gifhorn-Wolfsburg Savings Bank and the Gifhorn Municipal Youth Support Group. The Gifhorn district also supports the initiative in both financial and ideal terms, since District Administrator Dr. Andreas Ebel has become its patron.

In a lively exchange of views, Prof. Dr. Wanka paid her respect to the commitment of the partners involved and showed interest in the successes and current visions for steadily enhancing what was on offer. District Administrator Dr. Ebel announced that one of the highlights was the idea of installing its own research world in the district, which could be open to children, teaching assistants, teachers and interested parents as a Mathematics, Computer Science, Natural Sciences and Technology (MINT) education centre. The current focus of the Federal Ministry of Education on education for sustainable development would also find such a research world an ideal platform. “We’re still talking about a vision”, emphasised Dr. Ebel, “but every long road begins with a single step.” Prof. Dr. Wanka praised the efforts of the network partners, which take the form of financial assistance or staff resources, and have in years past amounted to the considerable sum of around EUR 150 000.

More than 500 participants from 81 children’s day-care centres have taken advantage of the broad spectrum of development courses since 2009, on the subjects of natural sciences, mathematics and technology, and support the children’s research in their institutions every day. Since December 2014, the available courses have been supplemented by two-day research events for primary school classes, which have also had a very positive response.

BUTTING – Progress by Tradition