Mord im Bio-Unterricht

Murder in the biology class

Several times a year, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) opens its doors to teachers for further education courses such as “Lab meets teacher.” In November 2018, STEM teachers met at the MDC to exchange best practice teaching ideas at the Science on Stage festival.

Was it murder or an accident? Pupils of the Gütersloh Waldorf School are given the chance to investigate this question in biology class. Two teachers developed the course “The language of the dead – basics of forensic medicine.” The project was one of more than 40 concepts for natural science lessons presented by participating teachers from all over Germany at the national Science on Stage festival, which was held at the MDC.C Conference Center from November 16 to 18, 2018. All the courses had one goal in mind: to stir the enthusiasm of schoolchildren from primary to high school for science and technology subjects. The teachers presented their course concepts and exchanged ideas and information in the MDC.C foyer. In addition, numerous workshops were offered over the three days, which interested external teachers could also attend on the second day of the event.

MDC Vice Chairman Thomas Sommer opened the event. 

The presented concepts focused on digital education and sustainability, for example, the project “Thermal insulation for climate protection? From winter jackets to building insulation.” “On a practical and theoretical level, we determined how heat conduction and convection work and discussed this with the schoolchildren, including economic and ecological arguments about how useful building insulation is,” Soraya Cornelius from the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium in Nagold reported during the short presentation of her project.  

MDC education program “Lab meets teacher”: Machine learning courses offered for the first time  

The MDC also presented its “Labor meets teacher” (Labor trifft Lehrer, LTL) education program, which is unique in Germany. Since 2012, five to six one-day courses have been offered each winter term, giving participants insights into current research topics that they can then integrate into their lessons. This year, for the first time ever, the course “Machine learning and AI – what are the current possibilities?” was offered. “The idea came from a teacher who approached the MDC and co-organized the training,” reports Dr. Luiza Bengtsson, head of LTL. In the course, MDC researchers Prof. Uwe Ohler and Philipp Boss explain what will change in the future as a result of the new technologies, and offer insights into their mathematics and computing aspects. 

The course will take place on December 12, 2018, and registration is still open. The courses enjoy an excellent reputation, as Sylvana Bauernöppel can confirm. The Immanuel-Kant-Gymnasium teacher participated in a course in the Life Science Learning Laboratory herself a few years ago. “We feel it is very important for a biology teacher to take part in an LTL course every year,” she says. LTL is constantly offering new courses in cooperation with various MDC research groups. The further education courses are offered to teachers from Brandenburg and Berlin, and are accredited as teacher training courses by the Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth, and Science. 

Further information 

The full program is available at