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Bosch associates spark enthusiasm for technology and a start-up culture
More knowledge, more ability, a better future – for more than ten years, this has been the motto of “Wissensfabrik - Unternehmen für Deutschland e.V.“ (Knowledge Factory: Companies for Germany). The initiative focuses on two areas. The first is education, and the aim here is to get children and young people interested in technology and business. With entrepreneurship, Wissenfabrik’s second sphere of activity, the initiative caters to students and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In order to promote a start-up culture in Germany, Wissensfabrik brings start-ups and established market actors together and provides them with intensive knowledge-sharing opportunities.
As one of the founding members of Wissensfabrik, Bosch is actively involved in a number of projects. The active participation of its associates in these projects is one of the company’s priorities. Some 100 associates, among them senior executives, contribute their time as mentors or trainers across Germany each year. There are also 500 apprentices who help spark enthusiasm for science and technology. One example of a successful project is “KiTec – Kinder erleben Technik” (KiTec: Children experience technology), within the framework of which Bosch cooperates with 225 schools and daycare centers. Together with the apprentices, children work on their own technical projects such as homemade insect hotels or treasure chests. In the new “IT2School” project, apprentices introduce schoolchildren to digital learning. At present, Bosch engages in around 300 educational partnerships with daycare centers and schools.
Bosch executives advise start-ups and students
Students and start-ups also benefit from the initiative: thanks to mentoring programs, young entrepreneurs can present their innovative, technology-oriented ideas to experienced executives, who provide feedback and advice to up-and-coming companies. For instance, Franz Fehrenbach, the chairman of the Bosch supervisory board, is active in the Weconomy start-up competition, where he spends a weekend supporting the candidates as an advisor. Until now, 180 start-ups have received valuable mentoring support through the Wissensfabrik.
Since it was founded in 2005, the initiative has cooperated with around 2,500 schools and daycare centers. 700,000 children across Germany have benefited from a range of projects that have enabled them to develop their creativity, their teamwork skills, and their inventiveness. In order to guarantee high-quality programs, the Wissensfabrik cooperates with universities. Moreover, scientists evaluate the pedagogical value of the learning materials and give their stamp of approval before they are used.
More information on the Wissensfabrik can be found here (only in German available).
Bosch invited girls to take part in the Czech „Girls' Day“ in Jihlava
by Lucia Jaszayova
Who says that girls are not interested in technology? 20 girls – daughters of Bosch associates in the Czech Republic – proved otherwise. On October 14, they participated in the „Girls' Day“ held at the Jihlava plant. As a part of the program the girls, aged from eleven to 13, were divided into teams and given a task to build a tractor model using metal construction blocks.
After lunch, the participants took the chance to visit the production site. They got an impression of the workplace of their parents and some valuable information regarding Bosch’s support of technical education of women.
Finally, there was another competition prepared for them. To get the title „Technikgirl“, the girls had to demonstrate their knowledge not only about Bosch, but also about the tools that are used in the production plant.
The aim of the event was to stimulate girls' interest in technology by allowing them to peek into the world of engineering. "We want to encourage the girls. They should discover what technology is about and find out that working in technical professions can be fun", said Ralph Carle, Commercial Director of Bosch Diesel s.r.o.
The Girls’ Day in Jihlava is but one example how Bosch is supporting initiatives to spark children’s interest in technology. Similar events are held in Germany and Austria each year. Additionally, Bosch is a founding member of the “Wissensfabrik – Unternehmen für Deutschland” (Knowledge Factory – Companies for Germany). The initiative aims at giving children and young people a better understanding of business and technology. To support that objective, Bosch participates in some 280 educational partnerships with kindergartens and schools.
About Bosch Diesel s.r.o.:
Bosch Diesel s.r.o. employs 4.300 associates producing high pressure pumps for diesel engines, pressure tanks and control valves for the Common Rail system. Since the topic of technical education is very important in the region, Bosch Diesel s.r.o. is coming up with new approaches and activities. Since 2002, the company has led an own training center. It also supports dual training and technically oriented students.
More information on Bosch in the Czech Republic can be found here.
More information on the “Wissensfabrik” can be found here.
At Bosch Rexroth in Lohr, children are discovering the fascinating world of technology.
Hurrah, the light is lit! With lots of support from Bosch apprentices, little five- and six-year-old visitors from Kita Rodenbach day nursery managed to create a closed power circuit. To do that, they first had to learn where electricity actually comes from and how to handle the tools properly. Later on, the diminutive scientists returned to their kindergarten, complete with research “driver licenses” and brand new experiment kits.
Since 2009, Bosch Rexroth has been inviting children from nearby kindergartens to take part in research adventures specifically tailored to this age group. As a founding member of the German association “Wissensfabrik” (Knowledge Factory), the company also maintains education partnerships with high schools, secondary-technical schools, and junior high schools. The aim is to give children and young people the chance to gain insights into the world of technology at a level appropriate to their age. “Education is a core building block in Germany’s competitiveness on the international stage. That’s why it is important to get girls and boys interested in technology and business early on,” says Franz Fehrenbach. The chairman of the Bosch supervisory council has been head of the Wissensfabrik since June 2013.
The charitable association was founded in 2005 by the companies BASF, Bosch, Fischer, Follmann, KSB, Thyssen Krupp, Trumpf, Voith, and Wall. It seeks to optimize the way young people are prepared for the challenges of the knowledge society and thus make a lasting contribution to Germany’s status as a location for education and training. Around 100 member companies are currently committed to 2,400 education partnerships with kindergartens and schools in their region.
Bosch Solar Energy and the Arnstadt public high school sign cooperation within the context of the Wissensfabrik
The Bosch Solar Energy business division and the public high school “Staatliches Gymnasium” in Arnstadt, Thuringia have signed a cooperative agreement to promote an early career orientation of students. For Bosch this is the 100th educational partnership within the context of the Wissensfabrik. The goal of this association – founded by German firms like BASF, Thyssen-Krupp und Trumpf – is to trigger enthusiasm for technology and business among boys and girls as early as kindergarden on through high school. As emphasized by Dr. Wolfgang Malchow, board member for human resources at Bosch, "In Germany I consider it a duty for companies in particular to promote interest in technical occupations through active interaction with children and youth. This is the only way we can win over qualified junior staff for tomorrow and beyond."
The cooperation initiated in Thuringia offers students an opportunity to become familiar with Bosch Solar Energy. They receive information about promising, sustainable careers in the photovoltaic industry. The agreement is intended to help students make timely decisions about their future professions and to make the transition from school into the working world easier. Furthermore, students can take part in various projects and activities adressing questions pertaining to renewable energy sources and thus become sensitized to actively participate in a more environmentally aware society. The cooperation also actively involves the teachers of mathematics and the natural sciences in order to jointly determine the special requirements a technically oriented company places on curriculum and students.
"This partnership creates a good foundation for an ongoing dialog between school and company that will actively structure teaching in support of potential future generations" states Dr. Martin Wöhr, Head of Human Resources for Bosch Solar Energy AG. Christine Löber, the high school's principal adds, "This cooperation with Bosch Solar Energy AG is an outstanding opportunity to identify individual talents and interests of students in order to help them make qualified decisions about their professional careers.”
Robert Bosch GmbH is a co-founder of the Wissensfabrik [knowledge factory] educational initiative founded in 2005. Its goal is to make Germany's economy viable for the future and to prepare the next generation for the challenges of a knowledge-based society. Till the end of 2011 Bosch plans to set up 25 new educational partnerships.