The project "Wuppertaler Wissenschaftscocktail" aims at developing and implementing a modular discourse project for students with the focus on senior classes. Different modules shall introduce as many adolescents as possible to the developments of modern biotechnological research and shall also inspire their critical examination.
Even though some reports and proceedings from brain trusts, politicians and public associations on the subject of stem cell research already exist, it is still relatively unknown what adolescents think about this kind of research.
How do they evaluate the various alternatives, if they not only assess scientific and political arguments, but are also able to contribute their own cultural, emotional and social beliefs and experiences.
Here, the discussion on content aspects opens up different perspectives for the students. They shall be motivated to reflect actively on the subject of stem cell research. Against the background of ethical questions, economical implications and scientifical positions they shall be qualified to discuss independently the pros and contras and learn how to evaluate and connect information in a reflected way.
The background of the research project is a programme of the BMBF, promoting discourse projects that deal with ethical, judicial and social issues in modern life sciences. They are adjusted to the developments of modern medical science and biotechnology, take on the effects of these technologies and want to foster the forming of opinion of young people.
With this project, the students' sense for sustainable development shall be fostered (German: "Gestaltungskompetenz"). They are trained in networked and anticipatory thinking, reflection and information management in order to prepare them for their academic and professional career.
Within the framework of an expert hearing, current issues and problems concerning the topic are discussed. At science dates, adolescents meet scientist and experts in the field of stem cell research. The students go on a "Themenreise" on the subject of stem cell research through the city of Wuppertal and work on the topic in stations. With the aid of a card game, designed for 14 to 18-year-olds, and a "Maislabyrinth", the subject of stem cell research is conveyed "playfully" to the young people.