Twelve teams from the Ruhr valley area are delighted to be nominated for the final round of the second edition of the successful school competition “Förderturm der Ideen” (winding tower for ideas). They impressed with their suggestions for how to reshape their environment and their ideas for improving community cohesion. The competition jury (Figure 1), headed up by Bärbel Bergerhoff-Wodopia, Member of the Board of Executives at the RAG-Stiftung, Essen/Germany, and Minister of Education Yvonne Gebauer, chose twelve projects from the Ruhr in four categories for the final online vote. From 6th May 2019, citizens will be able to decide which teams in the Ruhr will emerge victorious. The jury has already selected the two winning teams from the competition entries for Ibbenbüren. They will receive up to 50,000 € to implement their winning ideas. 22 schools took part from many large towns and cities in the area and from Ibbenbüren, with almost 50 project entries for the jury to choose from.
In Ibbenbüren, two winners have been selected directly by the jury this school year. The two winning teams from Ibbenbüren will be announced in the summer at a special award ceremony and will each receive up to 50,000 € to implement their projects.
Bärbel Bergerhoff-Wodopia was clearly impressed by the teams’ innovation: “The jury had some very difficult decisions to make because there were a lot of good project ideas once again in this year’s competition. The high quality of the planning carried out by participants was particularly impressive. Models were built, detailed sketches created and extensive cost plans prepared. I particularly liked that a lot of the students had really endeavoured to incorporate mining values such as solidarity, integration and community into their work. Their effort has paid off: Thanks to their hard work and dedication, they have come up with some sustainable and inspiring ideas for the former mining regions. I am delighted for the Ibbenbüren winning teams and wish the finalists in the Ruhr all the best for the vote!”
The other jury members – including representatives from the culture, science and youth communities – helped with the process of selecting the finalists by contributing their valuable expertise. Among others, Leane Schäfer, Director of Gelsenkirchen Art Museum and spokesperson for the RuhrKunstMuseen association of museums, and Prof. Hermann Josef Abs, Chair of Education at the University of Duisburg-Essen, had an eye for particularly imaginative, innovative and social projects. The jury also included a member of the state pupils’ representative body (LandesschülerInnenvertretung) as a representative of the younger generation.
Minister Yvonne Gebauer was thoroughly impressed by all the different competition entries: “Once again this year, lots of young people have really put a lot of thought into the issue and come up with some exciting, creative ideas for how to transform where they live. This commitment to society sets an excellent example and needs to be recognised. The “Förderturm der Ideen” competition gives children and young people the chance to actively shape their environment and take responsibility for the future. Placing this trust in the younger generation makes a region strong. I am excited to see which ideas are successful in the online vote and wish all the finalists the very best of luck.”
The “Förderturm der Ideen” school competition, which took place for the very first time in the 2016/2017 school year as part of the “Glückauf Zukunft!” campaign and was extremely well received, was so successful that the RAG-Stiftung decided to hold it again in the 2018/2019 school year. All schools at lower and upper secondary level and all vocational schools and technical colleges in the Ruhr, Saarland and Ibbenbüren had until the end of February to submit their ideas for how to make their environment, their neighbourhood, their town/village more attractive and improve community cohesion. The jury made their decision for Saarland on 17th April 2019, with two winning projects also selected in this region. The RAG-Stiftung will award up to 50,000 € for the implementation of the best ideas. (RAG-Stiftung/Si.)