Promoting giftedness and achievement is one of the core tasks of every school. In order to challenge and promote the high-performing and potentially particularly high-performing students within their domains, schools and teaching must change at the institutional, organizational, structural, personnel and content levels.
The interdisciplinary research network LemaS is addressing this issue as part of the research and school development project "Leistung macht Schule". The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is embedded in a ten-year joint initiative of the federal and state governments and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) to promote (potentially) high-achieving students. LemaS is made up of 28 leading scientists from 18 universities and colleges and works in a total of 22 sub-projects with 300 primary and secondary schools nationwide on structures in schools and teaching that promote achievement and giftedness.
With its collaborative project, the LemaS research network aims to change the attitudes of the actors and to optimize school and teaching structures that promote giftedness and achievement on the basis of theory and evidence by providing scientific advice, support and formative evaluation of the work at the schools in the two core modules "Development of a school mission statement geared towards school development that promotes achievement and establishment of a cooperative network structure" (core module 1) and "Challenging and promoting in regular classes" (core module 2).
In the school year 2022/23, we founded the LemaS-MINT-AG in cooperation with our school, the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium, and the LemaS program. The goal of the AG is to introduce young, enthusiastic and STEM-strong students to extracurricular competitions and to motivate them for their own research projects. We as LemaS tutors support them with our years of experience in extracurricular competitions and our accumulated knowledge wherever we can. We help them with questions, teach them essential skills and, above all, provide them with all the important equipment and materials. For this purpose, our school provides us with our own room, without which all this would not be possible.
Furthermore, we establish a pedagogical revolving door model, which allows high-performing students to work on their projects in the LemaS room during normal class time, as the students are able to catch up on their own in a shorter time than 90 minutes.
This is made possible by donations from the Kirmser Foundation of the LemaS program and the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs of the State of Hesse and the Kaiserin-Friedrich-Gymnasium, respectively - for which a heartfelt thank you.
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