Review Math Talent School RLP 2023

This October, our Math Talent School will enter its next round. To give the new applicants a better idea of the event, our student assistant Antoinette Duus from the communications team talked to four participants of the last Math Talent School in July and gathered some insights.

Here, mathematically gifted students from Rhineland-Palatinate visited us. Our second Math Talent School 2023 is organized by MINT-EC in cooperation with the Felix Klein Center for Mathematics. This means that the participants come from schools of the national excellence school network MINT-EC. We are already looking forward to the fall.


A Few Sneak Peeks From Our Last Math Talent School.

Here are some excerpts from the four different conversations with our student.

Noah Gomolka working in a team on the topic »How the speed camera knows who you are«.
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Noah Gomolka working in a team on the topic »How the speed camera knows who you are«.

The Fascination of Mathematics up Close - A Look Behind the Scenes

»It was really fun to work on something so big as a group,« summarizes 17-year-old Noah Gomolka. 18-year-old Lisa Fesser also confirms this and adds: »I also found it interesting to see what you do later when you study mathematics«.

One thing the students have in common is their enthusiasm for mathematics, yet they burn for it in their own way. Lisa, for example, excitedly emphasizes that, in contrast to other subjects, she likes the fact that there is always a correct solution, but that there are many possible ways of arriving at it. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Jakob Kaiser underlines his fascination with the realism of applied mathematics.

Above all, the Talent School offered the young people the opportunity to gain insights into research and to get in touch with researchers and students at the University of Kaiserslautern-Landau (RPTU). »I took away quite a lot here because the supervisors and the students we met were quite flexible in answering our questions,« explains Fabienne Weich, 17. As a result of the camp, she now knows exactly what options and different courses of study are available.

Together Against Prejudices

The students are also aware of the gender differences in STEM subjects. Fabienne reports that girls are given the feeling at a young age that STEM subjects are only for boys. »When you go to competitions, for example, others tell you that as a girl you probably wouldn't stand a chance. Worst of all, however, are the prejudices and then, as a result, that as a girl you don't feel like going up against it.« But she already has ideas on how to solve this: Her starting point - teaching in elementary school. Fabienne strongly believes that girls and boys should be equally motivated to engage with STEM topics, especially in elementary school, as this is the time when there is still a chance to get girls excited about science topics and encourage them to pursue a career. The STEM field is there for everyone.

Fabienne Weich and Lisa Fesser
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Fabienne Weich and Lisa Fesser during group work on the topic »Eating and being eaten«.
Jakob Kaiser in the group »Crisis WIFI failure – How can the use of remaining access be made fair?«
© Fraunhofer ITWM
Jakob Kaiser in the group »Crisis WIFI failure – How can the use of remaining access be made fair?«

Math Studies as a Major Goal - Careers in Stem Fields

The week at our camp offered participants a promising perspective for their future in STEM fields. The majority expressed a desire to consider studying mathematics, computer science or related subjects to pursue their enthusiasm for research and development. Some of them even want to stay here in Kaiserslautern. We would be delighted!

Fabienne, for example, announces resolutely: »Well, I definitely want to stay in the field of mathematics and the environment. Now you have impressions of how the studies are run and what the fellow students would be like.« Noah Gomolka also wants to stay true to his passion while introducing future generations to the world of STEM subjects: He wants to study mathematics and computer science for a teaching degree.

Furthermore, 21-year-old Jakob Kaiser reveals that he was wavering between mathematics and computer science in his choice of studies before the camp and that mathematics now has a head start. He also announces that only the RPTU Kaiserslautern is an option for him. Lisa also probably wants to study mathematics and can also imagine RPTU after the week here. She elaborated: »I really liked it here«.

Memories for Life

In addition to a lot of new knowledge, the students also go home with new memories. They have different aspects that they particularly liked. »Most of it was actually less the technical part, but rather the contact with the others. I'm at a technical high school myself, which means we generally have more technically interested students, but this is another level. It was very interesting to be involved in the exchange,« Jakob describes with a smile.

Noah also enthusiastically agrees. »Above all, I will remember the troupe. I had a lot of fun working with everyone and the groups of about six people were not too big or too small. Everyone got a chance to speak.« Fabienne affirms the direct insight into studies, as she otherwise has hardly any contact with math students.

Lisa Fesser bei der Gruppenarbeit zum Thema »Fressen und gefressen werden«.
Lisa Fesser bei der Gruppenarbeit zum Thema »Fressen und gefressen werden«.

It was an inspiring and educational experience for the participants, as well as a unique opportunity to promote enthusiasm for mathematics and applied research, and to support young talent for careers in STEM fields. In any case, our participants agree: They would participate in the Math Camp again and again!

We are definitely looking forward to seeing or hearing from one or the other again. Who knows, maybe we will soon be able to welcome some of the participants to our institute. We are looking forward to meeting more talented students in October, this time from all over Germany!