The Benefits of the German Science Project ‘Biology Up Close’

Claas Wegner, Friederike Strehlke


Science and technology have a huge impact on all areas of today’s society. Also, industrialised countries’ economies are highly dependent on scientific progress which in turn makes them rely on trained people. However, recent PISA studies show poor results for German students’ scientific literacy. Due to many pupils’ lack of interest in the field of science and the need for scientific knowledge in today’s society, it is crucial to find ways to motivate pupils to become scientists and increase their interest in this field. In order to achieve this, Claas Wegner initiated the project ‘Biology Up Close’ in 2009. During workshops at university, participating pupils aged between 10 and 18 years have the opportunity to ‘grasp’ scientific phenomena through conducting experiments in a motivating way. This article describes the project and also its beneficial aspects enabling pupils from regional schools to experience biology in a vivid way at university laboratories. The workshops are planned, organized and held by teacher students, which in turn helps them to improve and reflect on their teaching skills. Finally, the article presents how the project promotes the pupils’ interest in science in a conclusion.


German Science Project; Motivation; PISA Study

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