Interview with Werner Busch, a member of Siemens Stiftung

How many times have you been to Brazil?

Seven Times – business trips

What is the purpose of this visit?

Touch base with Bianca, her partners and the schools she is working with.
See how the program Experimento is working in Brazil, check out
the progress. Clarify potential questions. Do onsite inspections and
observations of Experimento at work. Evaluate if possible. Strengthen
the cooperation between the German Siemens Stiftung and Siemens Fundação.

What´s your schedule of events/visits while in Brazil?

See attached program details

Mr. Busch, can you tell us, briefly, about your lifelong experience in
education?

I started working with schools at Siemens when I was in charge of the
Siemens Partner School Program in 2004. I strategically developed
the program amid Siemens’ changing business activities. When Siemens Stiftung was established in 2009, I began working on the program
Experimento. Again, the mission is to constantly adapt the
program to school requirements. Therefore, we added new features,
such as inclusion, service learning, and, most recently, blended learning, a
program that combines onsite workshops with web- based trainings.

What makes you so passionate about education?

You have the tools to make a difference. Educating young children is
key to the development of any society and should be given the absolute
first priority in any society.

What can you tell us about your role in Siemens Stiftung? How long have you been working at Siemens Stiftung? What projects and goals have you been part of? What are your current responsibilities?

I am in charge of the actual implementation of the program Experimento
in Germany and the cooperation and consultancy for the program implementation in Brazil. In Germany I cooperate with so called
Experimento Centers, i.e. high schools which actually organize and
implement Experimento workshops for the schools in their vicinity. I
organize these workshops in close cooperation with the Centers, monitor the implementation of the workshop results and evaluate the program development and progress.

Have you been involved in the creation of Experimento? Can you tell how it was developed? What was the primary goal, how it was initially developed, creation of the kits, the people involved and how it has improved since?

We started with the idea that there should be a program which would
work throughout the entire educational life of a student, i.e., from kindergarten all the way up to high school graduation, which could be translated into any language and, consequently, implemented in any country, and make a contribution to our objective to feed the student’s needs for STEM education in an experimental way. The result was Experimento – a program focused on three areas, energy, the environment and health, thereby also reflecting core businesses of our founder and patron, Siemens AG. We then put together a team of scientists including professors from Munich University and conceptualized a program which includes the workshops to train teachers, a box with the experiment material and teaching material made available online on our media portal.

Why is STEAM education so important to present and future?

See above.

You travel to many countries to visit educational programs; the education challenges are the same or differ from one place to another? What are the commons points wherever you go? What concerns you the most and what makes you hopeful about the future of global education?

The core challenge is the same all over the world: a lack of sufficient
knowledge about science and technology and a commonly shared bias
that STEM subjects are too complicated for a student to learn.
Last year you came to Brazil and visited schools, met students and
teachers and stated you were very impressed with Experimento in Brazil. What do you expect to see one year from now?
My expectation is as such that I want to hear from students and teachers
about their experience and ways to improve the program.

What are your general impressions on Brazilian Education?

From what I have heard from my partners, there seems to be a large gap
between anything “public” and “private” in all aspects of Brazilian society.

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