STEM student congress in Kassel: Wintershall Dea fosters a spirit of research

Source: press release, 13 September 2021

12th STEM Student Congress of the North Hesse Student Research Centre (SFN) in Kassel will be held from 13 to 17 September (photo: Wintershall Dea/Bernd Schoelzchen)
12th STEM Student Congress of the North Hesse Student Research Centre (SFN) in Kassel will be held from 13 to 17 September (photo: Wintershall Dea/Bernd Schoelzchen)

Wintershall Dea, Europe’s leading independent gas and oil company, is one of the main sponsors of the North Hesse Student Research Centre (SFN) and is again supporting the STEM Student Congress this year. The slogan of this year’s event is “People – Environment – Technology.” From 13 to 17 September, school students of all ages will be able to experience research projects in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at first hand and conduct their own experiments together in Kassel and online.

In a video message to mark the opening of the STEM Student Congress, Thilo Wieland from Wintershall Dea’s Executive Board says, “As a global producer of gas and crude oil, we are very happy to see how the cornerstones of tomorrow’s technology are being laid today here at our company’s headquarters in Kassel. The level at which our leading minds of tomorrow are conducting research, discovering the Earth’s secrets and asking questions impresses me anew each year.”

The STEM Student Congress attracts young talents from across Germany and other countries as well. This is the second time that school students from all over Germany will converge on Kassel. Students from Middle School No. 17 in Novy Urengoy, Russia, will also take part in the conference this year via an online link. “International research partnerships have been a part of Wintershall Dea’s DNA from the very beginning. The North Hesse Student Research Centre is much more than just an educational establishment – values such as internationality, diversity and international understanding through the sharing of ideas and work on joint projects are lived and breathed there,” emphasises Wieland.

The SFN has reinvented itself digitally during the coronavirus pandemic and so has been able to ensure that it can continue its research work as well as international exchange. Nevertheless, the congress organisers are looking forward to the event on site: “The pandemic has shown all of us that fertile dialogue and collaboration are also possible by virtual means. All the same, we’ll be happy to welcome the many young STEM talents in person again this year and help strengthen Kassel as a science and research location,” says Jörg Steiper, Deputy Director of the SFN.

In collaboration with other student research centres, the SFN is once again offering around 100 events in German and English this year. Young researchers and experts from Germany, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, and Russia will provide insights into subjects ranging from volcano eruption, hacking to electromobility and climate change. The entire congress will be held in compliance with the applicable hygiene and safety regulations.

With a presentation of its own, Wintershall Dea will also play an active role this year in the varied programme of the 12th STEM Student Congress, turning the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics into a hands-on experience. In addition, Wintershall Dea’s annual donation of EUR 25,000 supports the work of the SFN, at which more than 40 employees advise the young research enthusiasts in their independent projects.