zdi School Laboratories

Gathering practical experience in the zdi School Laboratories

In the some 60 zdi School Laboratories, pupils can experience natural science and engineering disciplines “in the flesh” and under professional conditions as well as gain a realistic insight into natural science research. The facilities offer an experimental learning environment with a laboratory character and a top-class portfolio both in terms of subject-related content and quality of teaching.

zdi School Laboratories work together with at least one regional zdi Network and often also with a university or an enterprise which offers dual system study programmes. The intention is to create a clear interface between laboratory activities and regular teaching in schools, yet not replace this or necessarily complement it systematically.



InfoSphere in Aachen
When InfoSphere, a zdi School Laboratory in Aachen, invites primary school children to its “Informatics School of Magic” the kids are hooked straight away. Little “tricks” allow them a first insight into the complex world of computer science and at the end the children are thrilled to get a magician’s certificate which they can proudly take home with them. The InfoSphere Informatics School Laboratory at RWTH Aachen University offers children and youngsters at all school levels a wide range of possibilities to encounter the various facets and applications of computer science. Its programme includes experimental and practical learning opportunities in the framework of research and “puzzle” projects lasting half a day, a full day or even several days. Many activities are designed for the age group of about 10 to 16 years of age and are also suitable for pupils without any special previous knowledge. Other activities are more suitable as a component of computer science lessons in upper school – as an alternative form of teaching or an interesting addition to the school curriculum.

Website (in German only)


ing.process School Laboratory in Cologne
A single push of a button is enough to send the little containers off on their way along a conveyor belt to the filling station. At the end, a robot’s arm is waiting, which will sort, fill and send the product to the storeroom. “What we do is not just for technology enthusiasts. We want to make people enthusiastic about technology”, says Malte Böhme, Coordinator of the ing.process Process Automation School Laboratory at Rheinische Fachhochschule Cologne University of Applied Sciences. The school laboratory’s objective is above all to show young people the broad range of employment opportunities open to them in the field of automation and manufacturing. Target groups include school pupils from the age of about 15 upwards as well as young apprentices. In one day, course participants go through all the stages of a technical development process needed to solve a pre-defined task and leave with valuable first-hand impressions.

Website (in German only)


FabLab in Kamp-Lintfort
Make your own 3D printer and then take it back to school with you without paying for it? Not a dream but instead reality for school groups who visit FabLab Kamp-Lintfort at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. On over 500 m², pupils, students, start-ups and enterprises get to grips with modern production technology. The high-tech workshop gives them not just the space but also the machinery they need to transform their own ideas into reality. A number of top-quality school and university-related projects have been put into practice since it opened in 2015. The aim is to anchor technologies such as 3D printing, 3D scanning and laser cutting in a region which is not part of a large conurbation. FabLab is based on a globally networked concept of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Article on FabLab’s inauguration (in German only)


tec4you-lab in Brakel
Today we’re a company and our team is going to design, test, make and sell its own product! The tec4you-lab is a zdi School Laboratory which gives pupils an opportunity to simulate for a day a manufacturing company with research, engineering, design, communication and financial “departments”. Participants gain an understanding of how a new product evolves and of the main production processes to be found in a modern enterprise. It is based on the teaching concept of the Covestro Science Lab in Leverkusen. And if they do everything right, at the end of the day they find themselves holding in their hands their own product – and designed to their own taste too! All made possible through innovative technologies and state-of-the-art media.

Website (in German only)

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