GISW accepted into STEM network MINT-EC

German International School Washington D.C. accepted into German National Excellence School Network for STEM Education

The German International School Washington D.C. won the jury’s votes in a challenging selection process and has been accepted into the national Excellence School Network (MINT-EC) as a full member. The GISW is the first non-European MINT-EC school and also the first MINT-EC school in the United States.

"Bravo!", rejoices the Acting Head of SchoolMr. StD Marc Aurel Löckmann, "We have proven our high quality in STEM education and are now proud to be part of the largest German School network for the promotion of excellence in mathematics and science! I thank all colleagues of the STEM/MINT team who under the leadership of our coordinators achieved this goal through their sustained commitment. My mathematician heart beats faster since, back in Germany, I have worked for a long time at two MINT high schools and therefore understand exactly what exciting opportunities have now been made available to our students interested in the STEM field. For our school as a whole, being included in this Excellence Network is a huge success.”

The Association of Mathematical and Scientific Excellence Centers in Schools (abbreviated MINT-EC ) is a non-profit association based in Berlin, Germany . The association was founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federal Association of German Employers' Associations (BDA) and is overseen by Germany’s Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) since 2009.

The aim of MINT-EC is to encourage student proficiency in STEM subjects: Mathematics, Information technology, Natural sciences and Technical achievement (MINT). Since girls are traditionally underrepresented in MINT/STEM subjects, special attention is paid to addressing female students as well.

A selection process allows schools with upper secondary level II to become part of the national Excellence School Network (MINT-EC). The qualified schools receive support and funding from a network of companies, research institutions, universities and associations, under the shared objective of strengthening education in MINT subjects.

The MINT-EC association, together with its partners, offers events for schoolchildren, teachers and school leaders networking the schools with partners from business and science.


The selection process

Schools with upper secondary level and at which it is possible to acquire the university/college entrance qualification (i.e. the German International Abitur) can take part in the annual MINT-EC selection process after handing in an extensive application. Criteria for selecting a school as a MINT-EC school include:

  • Proven STEM focus in the school program
  • Continuous offer of STEM advanced courses and opportunities for experimental and research-based learning as well as interdisciplinary approaches in the STEM area
  • Promotion of gifted students in STEM subjects
  • Extracurricular cooperation, for example with universities, regional companies and scientific institutions
  • Participation in renowned competitions
  • Special encouragement and support for girls
  • Career orientation
  • Teacher Training

These criteria serve as a rough guide for certifying a school as a MINT-EC school. However, it is required that the future concepts be built on an already substantial program of structures, processes and resources.

Following four years of initial membership, MINT-EC schools are obliged to be recertified to maintain membership. If the recertification is successful, the membership is extended for another four years. A total of 38 (13 candidates and 25 new applications) schools have applied this year. Of these, 21 have been accepted as members.

The national excellence school network MINT-EC is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. In its anniversary year it now comprises 332 schools with 353,00 students and 29,000 teachers. The new schools will be formally admitted to the network on November 6th, 2020 at the digital conference of school principals. The event, which is taking place online for the first time due to the corona pandemic, also offers school principals the opportunity to attend specialist workshops and exchange ideas about their MINT/STEM school concepts. The German International School Washington D.C. will participate, making an extensive presentation of our science program.

On Tuesday, September 15th at 6:00 pm the coordinators will present the MINT program. All students of grades 9-12 and their parents are invited to attend. This event will be part of the lecture series and will be held via Zoom.

Steffi Colopy and Dr. Guido Müller
STEM/MINT Coordinators

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