Press Release: The reopening of the Junior Campus at BMW Welt was celebrated with a function yesterday morning. Willi Weitzel, “guest educator” and moderator of the event, joined a class of elementary school children in exploring the redesigned Campus Portal together with other guests included representatives of the press, the public and the company. Later, Weitzel and a group of seventh-grade girls built a solar vehicle in keeping with the revised Campus concept.
The relaunch of the learning and experience space, located directly at BMW Welt, aims to give children aged 5 to 13 an understanding of sustainability and mobility. To this end, children have a chance to research, test and experiment in an interactive setup – for instance, to find out what sustainability means throughout a vehicle’s lifecycle.
A discovery tour of the world of mobility.
The guided three-part learning concept of the Junior Campus (Discover – Immerse – Create together) is designed to strengthen the interactive and lasting acquisition of knowledge. The three sections – Campus Portal, Campus Lab and Campus Workshop – are an inherent part of BMW Welt in Munich. Since the opening in fall 2007, thousands of children and school classes have experienced mobility with all their senses. The underlying concept was developed with pedagogy and social sciences experts, featuring topics and sequences that are aligned with the age-based development of the 5 to 13-year-old visitors. All assignments and information are available in both German and English.
“With the educational concept of the Junior Campus, we have sparked children’s interest in mobility for almost four years now. As the most sustainable automobile company worldwide, we have now revised the Portal and developed new workshops to raise more awareness for sustainability among young people,” Harald Krüger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, explained the company’s latest initiative. “Children and teenagers will be the ones to shape our future society. This is why they are so important to us. If we want to initiate changes in society, they are the ones we will have to start with.”
Consequently, young people play a key role in the BMW Group’s CSR activities, which include educational projects on various scientific topics, technology, road safety and mobility – and increasingly on sustainability issues.
Sustainability in a vehicle’s lifecycle.
The new Junior Campus Portal visualizes a vehicle’s lifecycle with respect to sustainability. Six workstations – ranging from raw material sourcing to the production line and the recycling of parts – explain this cycle in a way that is easy to understand, hands-on and self-explanatory. All exhibits are identical as far as their structural setup is concerned: Each of them includes a brief explanation as well as age-appropriate possibilities of interaction for children.
After exploring the Portal, the young visitors can apply their acquired knowledge to researching and testing in the Campus Lab. They are supported by pedagogically trained members of staff who guide them through the various interactive workstations.
The revised offering of the Campus Workshop includes two brand-new workshops: ‘Designing Sustainability’ is geared towards 10 to 13-year-olds. The workshop’s focus is on recycling and sustainability. Based on the knowledge acquired in the lab, the young visitors build their own, solar-powered cars. The rookie engineers are grouped in teams; each team receives an assignment file with a detailed description of the characteristics of the solar vehicle to be made. If the car passes all the tests carried out at the end of the workshop, all team members receive a diploma.
‘Everything moves’ is the title of the second new workshop, which aims at introducing preschoolers to the world of sustainable mobility. Children assemble vehicles from old cars – under consideration of energy efficiency and recycling aspects – which are reused by the next group.
The BMW Junior Program: Junior Campus and Junior Museum.
The BMW Group has been offering educational programs for children and teenagers for many years. There is not only the Junior Campus at BMW Welt; the BMW Museum at the company’s headquarters in Munich also provides an offering for young people. Groups of children between 7 and 13 as well as teenagers from 14 years on can actively deal with select exhibits, which give them a good sense of technology, history and design. After touring the museum, children are invited to gain a hands-on experience in the BMW Museum’s Creative Workshop.
For registration and further information about the BMW Junior Program please refer to www.bmw-welt.com.