Mathematics, ICT, Natural Sciences and Technology

Since the foundation of our school, we have focused on mathematics and the natural sciences, which we are gradually deepening qualitatively and quantitatively in combination with informatics and technology. In English speaking countries also known as STEM.

There are no classic female or male professions or careers. Our primary goal is to inspire boys and girls alike through these subjects and to develop their confidence within these areas without creating an aversion towards these subjects, which are traditionally seen as complex. We therefore choose the method of addressing everyday questions from the pupils and answer them in a practical, experimental manner. Our main focus is on the important future topics of the natural world and environmental protection, energy and sustainability, and food and resources.

Dealing with MINT and its wide range of applications has become a natural part of our school culture in interdisciplinary, project-oriented and often cross-class activities. In special clubs, at competitions, project days, at our school events, on school trips and in our Work & Travel program, we take up mathematical, scientific and information technology topics and contents in all class levels. Our subject rooms, the workshop and many excursions offer stimulating learning environments for practical and hands-on learning.

Schülerinnen und Schüler beim Experimentieren

Our students learn how to use the computer in a natural way in the computer labs, the classrooms, in the library for targeted research and in the units for media competency where they learn further important foundations and skills for using both new and old media. As a prerequisite to this, our school has specialist rooms well-equipped with technology. There are internet, the school network and Wi-Fi available in each room, a projector and a PC in every classroom, a laptop for each employee, two computer labs, a library and a reliable technical support team, all representing the provision of information technology in the school building.

All students have their own Microsoft 365 account and Platanus e-mail address for media-supported work and communication at school and at home – with each other and with our staff. We also provide class sets of mobile devices (Microsoft surfaces).

Trade associations worldwide emphasize the importance of the availability of innovation-relevant workers with a MINT focus for the innovative strength of companies. By focusing on these subjects, we offer our students the appropriate education for the best opportunities in the german and the international job markets. Our aim is to inspire as many children and young people as possible with lasting enthusiasm, so that they also decide on a professional career in these areas. We will continue to work towards this goal in the future. We are planning further collaborations and projects, collecting innovative ideas for shaping our school life and successively deepening our MINT profile. In doing so, we also keep an eye on the growing shortage of skilled workers and the challenges of the future, but first and foremost we feel a deep passion for these subjects and are happy to pass this passion on to all students at PLATANUS SCHULE BERLIN.


Questions and Answers about MINT

In the primary school, we develop the mathematical and scientific foundations in a playful manner so that our students are open to these topics right from the beginning. In science and social studies (Years 1 to 4), mathematics and especially on our fortnightly project days, we deal with any questions relating to everyday life that the children may have. From Year 1 onwards, we teach a higher number of lessons in science and social studies than in the Berlin primary schools and in team teaching with a Class Erzieher*in. In addition, science and social studies also takes place in our schoolyard. In raised beds and in a green space we grow our own vegetables, sow our own flowers and bee pastures and have even built a compost heap. Since this school year we have been cooperating with the Gartenarbeitsschule (gardening work school) Pankow. We hold various project days there with all classes, and in the 3rd grades the science and social studies lessons take place there once a week. We learn a lot about fruit and vegetable growing, we plough our own beds and deal with bees.
In Years 5 and 6, the sciences are taught in German and/or English, in Team-Teaching or Support-Teaching as well as in a cross-curricular way. The aim of this, is to develop a basic understanding of the close subject link between the scientific subjects of biology, chemistry, and physics and for the students to expand their scientific vocabulary in both languages as well as to promote skills through interdisciplinary thinking and learning. In addition to Robotics and Coding, we offer other attractive elective courses with MINT reference, e.g. STEAM and Art and Communication. Two-thirds of our students voluntarily chose an elective course in the MINT field in the last school year – from a wide range of different electives. This confirmed that we were successful in getting our children excited about MINT topics in Years 1 to 4.

In the secondary school, we teach through a mixture of specialised lessons, fortnightly project days, and our Work & Travel program. We address the students‘ real and life related mathematical and scientific questions that reach far beyond the curriculum.
In Years 7 and 8, secondary school students learn Natural Sciences with a total of 2 hours more per week than in Berlin’s Gymnasium (high school or grammar school). In addition, from Year 7, we already teach specialized subjects and at a higher level in the sub-disciplines of biology, physics and chemistry.
Exciting excursions and interesting projects await our secondary school students, such as the cultivation of a digital garden, excursions, as well as internships and class trips with a MINT reference. We maintain cooperation and partnerships with organisations, companies and scientific institutions (e.g. Greenpeace, Buchlokal, IPGarten, Women in AI and the Lindhof experimental farm of the University of Kiel). Experts from research and business accompany our project days, which we conduct inside and outside the school building.
In Years 1 to 4, IT and media education are integrated into science and social studies and is also taken up in all other subjects. In Years 5 to 10, IT and media education are integrated into all subjects – depending on the topic and application. This also means that in all subjects, our students study the opportunity to use the computer, with office and educational software, e-Mail, Internet and multimedia applications to practice interesting topics.
In Years 5 and 6 there are additional one-hour IT and biweekly media lessons, in which topics include the handling and use of the media, social networks and electronic aids. In Years 5 and 6 we also offer the elective courses IT and Media Studies and Robotics and Coding, for those students who want to engage more intensively with it.
We are leaning into the further development of our curriculum for IT and media education the objectives and standards of the European Computer Driving License (European Computer Driving License, ECDL – internationally recognized as International Computer Driving License, ICDL).
With these methods in modern teaching, we effortlessly prepare our students for an increasingly digitized working and living environment.

In the 2019/20 school year, on the initiative of two parents’ representatives, we founded our own MINT working group, which is dedicated exclusively to sharpening our MINT profile even further, entering into exciting collaborations with external MINT partners, organising instructive training courses for our colleagues and offering even more MINT-related activities. Parents’ representatives and members of the school leadership team are active in this working group. If you are interested in an exchange or have any questions, please write to ed.eluhcs-sunatalp@ofni. Your contact person for all MINT topics is Ms. Joana Kappes, our Head of School Lessons – Years 5 and 6 and head of the MINT department.