BMW Group Plant Munich steps up social commitment.
Three pillars: to promote children’s interest in technology, to prepare teenagers for vocational training, and to provide support with integration
Munich. BMW Group Plant Munich is stepping up its social commitment and increasing its community engagement. To this end, the Group’s home plant has launched a new project, “Tech4Kids”, in cooperation with the Hanselmann primary school in the Munich neighborhood of Milbertshofen. The project aims at making technology and sustainable mobility appealing to children. Up until the end of the school year, third-graders will design, plan and build wooden model cars and fit them with electric drives. Their efforts will be supported by production specialists and apprentices of the BMW Group.
The project was developed by the BMW Group in cooperation with educational experts of “Wissensfabrik”, a non-profit organization set up by about 130 German companies and foundations. It focuses on the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and math, and aims to create awareness for resource-conserving, sustainable mobility from a young age – in a haptic and child-appropriate way.
Together with their teachers and BMW staff, the third-year students of the Hanselmann primary school design and build model cars with electric drives. Parts of the activity are carried out at the school, others at the carmaker’s plant. Both teachers and BMW staff involved in the project underwent a two-day training prior to the project to familiarize themselves with the materials and to coordinate project content with the syllabus. The handover of the assembly kits from Milan Nedeljkovic, Director of BMW Plant Munich, to the school marked the official start of the project.
Over the next few weeks, the children will be introduced to the materials and tools, and are encouraged to start brainstorming about the design of their vehicles. A children’s tour of the Munich plant and the collaboration with the company’s apprentices are additional elements of the project that give the youngsters interesting insights into the world of automotive engineering. Each section of the year is mentored by an employee of the BMW plant who visits their group during class and gives valuable tips on how to make an e-car. In small teams, students will soon start hammering and sawing, as well as screw and adhesive bonding. As the project highlight, the ‘marriage’ of car body and drivetrain will be hosted at the plant: together with the apprentices, the students will fit the electric motor, ensuring their cars’ sustainable drive.
Edeltraud Fischer, principal of the Hanselmann primary school, is excited about the cooperation with the plant and her charges’ creativity: “I am sure the children will enjoy this project a lot, and at the end of the school year, they can be proud of the cars they will have built themselves.” At a closing event, the rookie engineers will present their e-cars to their parents and fellow students. “The BMW Group plant in Munich is looking forward to spending time with these children and sharing their creativity and curiosity,” comments Plant Director Milan Nedeljkovic.
The second pillar of the plant’s social commitment is based on its cooperation with the “Verein Stadtteilarbeit Milbertshofen”, a non-profit neighborhood initiative. This cooperation focuses on preparing teenagers for an apprenticeship. In doing so, BMW Group Plant Munich offers approx. 40 eight-graders an exclusive insight into departments that train young people. In mock interviews, recruiting experts give important feedback and valuable tips for actual applications.
The third pillar of the plant’s activities, integration, is all about supporting young adults after graduating from school so as to facilitate their entry into professional life. Through special qualification programs, the selected entrants intern with the plant for eight months. During this period, they acquire skills and knowledge that will help them enter a regular vocational training program. In 2015, the BMW Group aligned the program with the specific needs of young refugees who require additional and different support.