All students from our academy as well as our course leaders posing in front of the beautiful castle.

JuniorAcademy 2015 in Ostbevern

An article by Hannah Seiffert, Class 9a

"Learning in your holidays?! Why?"

This question was often the first reaction of my friends, when I told them that I would attend an academy. And this also for 10 days during the summer holidays! I had applied for the Junior Academy NRW and had been accepted.

The Junior Academy is about working at different subject areas in a relaxed atmosphere. Offered are various courses and subjects that do not appear in the regular class. The Academy offers an individual social challenge for each student. It is an extra-curricular program to promote interested, committed and talented students in the eighth or ninth grade.

I had decided on the course Biomimetics in the English section. In Ostbevern there were three courses: Biomimetics (the best one, of course!), Nanotechnology and The Wonders of Symmetry and the whole Academy took place in English. Because I have chosen the bilingual branch at school, there were absolutely no communication problems with our course leaders. Some of them also arrived from England. We were housed in a moated castle and boarding school and the terrains were huge in size.

"Tape is always a solution!"

In my Biomimetics course it was all about to find solutions for (technical) problems with the help of nature. Because we searched for ideas from nature and transformed them into inventions, we were quickly becoming the "craft course" in Ostbevern and our motto was: "Tape is always a solution!" Our course leaders were really great because they were open-minded and answered all our questions. I mostly liked the fact that we had to develop everything ourselves. We all got involved with our topics and it was different than in school, because the most important thing in our course work was to act in a team! It was worked out a surprising amount without any pressure, but with fun and self-motivation.

Here you see the result of a challenge in which we had to build a flying construction inspired by nature. We had to carry a raw egg through the air from six meters height. This challenge was called Eggbertina.

Our daily program was nearly overflowing! It started in the morning at 6.45 o'clock with morning exercise (of course only voluntarily!) and ended at 22:30 clock with sleep. In between, there were every day 5 ½ hours course program, each morning and afternoon, and the famous variety course offers. These so-called KüA's went from 19:30 clock to 22 clock and covered many leisure and learning areas. So we could choose between for example beach volleyball, Cantonese, Hungarian, pint, chess and many more! The most important thing here is that the KüA`s were offered by us, the students.

After lunch our Academy choir took place. If you decided to stick with it after three days you had to prepare for the Final Presentation with the others.

The Final Presentation

The Final Presentation was the most exciting thing on the whole Academy. At the end of the 10 days, each course led a funny but also informative presentation. Many parents and representatives from politics and business were present. The choir sang many songs, including the self-written Academy Song.

Overall, 10 days went by incredibly fast and I learned a lot, I made a lot of new friends and I am now fit in some aspects of Biomimetics and nature inventions. I admit that previously I had some doubts, but this time was really beautiful and all doubts were unjustified in any case. It was a pleasant surprise and a great experience for me.