Authentic-STEM - Students and Companies in a Joint Solution Process

The Authentic-STEM project, in which GISW students successfully participated for the second time, concluded on May 8th a Forum of Innovation.


This project is part of the 9th grade’s NWP course and is carried out in cooperation with the University of Siegen and the University of Cologne.  MINT Collaborative@NRW / Authentic-STEM is funded by the Ministry of Schools and Education of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.


An important aspect is the promotion of intercultural exchange through collaboration with German and American partners. It is an international network of universities, industries and organisations created to expand opportunities for students and to encourage their enthusiasm for STEM education.


This year, about 90 students from 10 schools - four in the US and six in Germany, took part in the project, organized into 13 "solver teams." Participating companies were Michelin, Viega, Norsk, Nedschroef and Alsco, companies with factories in both the US and Germany.   Supported by their math teacher Andreas Haider, the GISW students worked in three of the "solver teams" and cooperated with various branches of ALSCO.


The problem to be solved was an efficiency challenge, the optimization of storing product groups in the warehouse. This involved conducting product analysis using Excel tables and a Lorenz curve, hopefully leading to a redesign of the plant's warehouse.


All GISW teams successfully created and presented practical deployment-ready solutions. The branch manager of the ALSCO company in Castrop-Rauxel was visibly impressed by the results and decided to implement the solutions at the plant as quickly as possible.


Here is David L.'s (9b) report on the Forum:

"In past Authentic-STEM meetings we worked intensively on our project for 12 weeks. Our team came up with a good solution and created a presentation for the Forum of Innovation.

On the day of the conference, we started with a small breakfast which was also attended by the Head of School, Mr. Apsel. It was a pleasant opportunity to fortify ourselves and exchange ideas before the official part of the event.

When the forum began, we were introduced to the project leaders of the universities and the participating companies. Students who took part online were then divided into breakout rooms where each gave their presentations. Some of the German solver teams were invited to the university in Siegen.  After our presentations, we received feedback from university professors and company representatives. This helped us to look at our work from a new perspective and gave us valuable ideas for future projects. After all groups had completed their presentations, we returned to the main meeting where awards were presented. It was an exciting moment that recognized our hard work and dedication.

Following the online forum, we had a feedback session with Mr. Haider and Ms. Colopy who had supervised the project at our school. We used this opportunity to share our experiences and talk about possible improvements for future project participation."

Steffi Colopy

STEM Coordinator


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