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Summer Camp 2019 Workshops


Social Sciences, Economics and Management

Integration through Community Work
Jakob Fruchtmann

Bremen takes pride in being a small but innovative town with a strong tradition of innovative social and community work. Some of the town’s projects have the potential to be a valuable example for other cities or even countries. The ‘Geschichtenhaus’ is such a project. It strives to integrate the long-term unemployed into society by supplying them with an important task that gives them the feeling of being a valuable part of society and, at the same time, to reinstate basic work skills and ethics.

The ‘Geschichtenhaus’ is also a very successful experimental museum that attracts a lot of tourists and other guests that enjoy an exciting insight into local history there. Far from being a mere living history museum, it rather puts together live performances that present interesting narratives of Bremen’s history by impersonating key actors, who are enacted by its employees.

The people who work at the Geschichtenhaus were formerly long-term unemployed people and represent a broad variety of social, age, and ethnic groups. Some struggle with emotional or health issues, many were formerly socially isolated, others lack basic knowledge of the German language. All working-ages are represented and mingle, just as ethnic and national groups work together here. Lately, a group of refugees was integrated into the staff. Because of legal issues about work permits for refugees, this is still in an experimental phase.

The tasks of the course participants will consist of understanding the problems of integration in general and of refugees in particular, the sociological and political concepts of community work as a means of social integration and their practical implementation. On the other hand, students will learn the relevance and practical importance of empirical social research, based on participating observation. It is considered more than a useful side-effect that students themselves may experience some sense of integration in the county they actually live in. They will not only get to know an interesting part of Bremen, they will participate in this city’s life and maybe even contribute something.

Living Under a Dictatorship
Julia Timpe

What is it like to live under a dictatorship? How are peoples’ everyday activities, attitudes, plans, aspirations, friendships and family relations affected and shaped by the ideologies, politics and practices of dictatorial regimes? How do these regimes manage to stay in power? And what ways to resist dictatorships are possible and effective? This workshop will explore these questions by examining the history of dictatorial regimes of the twentieth century. In particular, we will look at themes such as propaganda, education and youth organizations, policing and resistance, drawing mostly on examples from Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union under Stalin. The workshop aims to familiarize students with the practice of historical research and to enhance their skills in reading and interpreting historical sources. The course will also introduce students to academic approaches to the history of the everyday and scholarship about dictatorships and deal with with the question of how studying history can inform our understanding of processes in the present day.


Design for the Future

This workshop will be offered in collaboration with the German Design Museum in Frankfurt. For more information about the museum, the foundation and their work, visit their website:

If you want to design the future, you need a concrete goal. The participants in this workshop will devote themselves to the challenges of our time and will engage in groups with an intense desire for change. Accompanied by a professional designer, they will develop innovative solutions for real-world challenges and will display their ideas as infographics. This method allows them to exemplify complex information and overall concepts in an inspirational way. The participants will be guided throughout their project both conceptually and in regards to design. The final product will be concise, visually-appealing graphics that arouse interest, offer practical solutions and encourage participation. Visual representations are more memorable and remain longer in people’s minds. Nothing makes innovation stronger than a concrete vision of your goals and motivation. Become a designer of the future!


Mathematics and Physics

Jürgen Fritz, Veit Wagner

Nanotechnology deals with things (such as small metal beads or large proteins) which are smaller than the wavelength of light and which are typically between 1 - 100 nanometer in size (1 nanometer = one millionth of a millimeter). At these length scales the classical boundaries between physics, chemistry, and biology disappear and novel phenomena can be observed not present at larger systems made of the same material. The workshop introduces nanotechnology and its most prominent examples and applications such as nanomaterials for novel electronics, or DNA origami for creating tiny complex structures. In parallel, participants get hands-on experience on different microscopes to visualize the nanoworld (electron microscope and atomic force microscope), and on modifying thin gold layers with nanofilms to create microscopic structures or to change their wettability.  

Building Bridges
Manfred Frischholz

Approximately 2,200 years ago the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes and others began to study the properties of simple machines such as the lever and the axle. Their studies laid the foundations of mechanics, in particular statics, the branch in physics, which is concerned with the forces that act on bodies at rest under equilibrium conditions.

The methods and results of statics have proved especially useful in designing force-amplifying mechanical devices such as cranes and similar machines as well as in designing buildings and bridges. In order to correctly find the dimensions of such machines and structures, architects and engineers start with determining the forces that act on the parts from which those structures are built. Statics provides the methods, namely analytical and graphical procedures, which are needed to identify and describe these a priori unknown forces.

The Romans were masters in architecture. Their knowledge of statics together with their invention of new materials in particular one, which we would usually consider an invention of modern times, cement, enabled them to build aqueducts in all parts of the Roman Empire, where they supplied water to public baths and for drinking. Unlike modern cement structures which erode over time, those built by the Romans withstood the attack by elements for over 2,000 years. Roman cement was described by Vitruvius around 25 BC in his Ten Books on Architecture. Recent scientific investigations of Roman concrete have created a large interest in industry because of its unusual durability, longevity and lower environmental footprint. Roman aqueducts proved to be extremely reliable and durable, some were maintained into the early modern era, and a few are still partly in use. Roman aqueducts thus set a standard of engineering that was not surpassed for more than a thousand years.
Another example of the ingenuity of the Romans is the Pantheon, a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome completed by the emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. One of its most astounding features is the concrete dome, with a central opening to the sky, which spans 43 m across the rotunda. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon's dome is still the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome.

Today's use of physics is not limited to the narrow field of statics, which still is an essential tool for building design and construction. A 21st century sustainable society has additional requirements and depends on knowledge about e.g., how heat, air, moisture and light move through a building in order to be able to design sustainable, durable and energy-efficient buildings with a healthy and comfortable indoor climate and minimize the ecological footprints of buildings. Modern buildings physics therefore is a highly interdisciplinary and fast developing field.

During the workshop we will study both theoretically and experimentally a variety of physics problems related to statics and strength of materials for architecture and building construction.

As case studies we will focus on designing and building bridges from small to large scale models using different materials and test their properties. We will use simple mathematical and physical models trying to predict those properties, verify them experimentally and improve our designs using the trial and error method. During the predominantly experimental workshop we will apply our new expertise in a Bridge Design Contest where we will determine the team, whose bridge can withstand the heaviest load.


Energy, Resources and Technology

Exploring Space, Exploring Earth
Angelo Pio Rossi, Vikram Unnithan

The workshop will be split into two parts, respectively covering planetary science and terrestrial remote sensing with drones. Activities will include spacecraft data visualisation and analysis, using data from NASA and ESA missions that will be handled by the students using open source tools. Students will be introduced to remote sensing techniques and photogrammetry. The use of drones for resource assessment and mapping will be highlighted. The practical part involves data collection and processing using Jacobs University drones. Drone flight instruction and training will also be provided (depending on availability, weather conditions, etc.)

Earth’s resources and their sustainable use
Andrea Koschinsky

The growing world population requires increasing amounts of resources, including water, food, metals, and energy. However, the long-term supply of these resources is challenged by its limited availability, climate change, growing world population, and the unwise use of resources in a non-sustainable manner. The goal of this workshop is to demonstrate the value, availability and limitations of different resources and introduce concepts for a sustainable use of these resources. The workshop participants will have the chance to gain some hands-on experience in the lab and in the field and will be taught to develop ideas and strategies for securing future resource supply with a minimal negative footprint on the environment. Economic aspects and social wellbeing will be discussed in the holistic context of sustainability.

Workshop outline:
Day 1: Introduction to the workshop and the concept of sustainability
Freshwater – the most precious resource of the 21st century
Introduction to the topic with some facts and numbers; taking water samples in the field and analyzing them for environmental parameters on site and in the lab
Day 2: Soils – the underestimated ground for our food and constructions
Introduction to the topic with some facts and numbers; sampling of soils, investigating soil horizons, analyzing soil components and evaluating the soil properties for their functions
Day 3: Minerals as important resources of metals
Introduction to the topic with some facts and numbers; Analysis of different types of mineral resources; comparison of land mining, marine mining and urban mining/recycling with respect to their future roles in high-tech metal supplies and footprints.  
Day 4: Life cycle assessment as an environmental management tool to assess the environmental impact of resource extraction and use; concepts and examples of application (e.g., deep-sea mining, green energy production)
Day 5: Evaluation and interpretation of data produced in the previous days: statistics, graphical presentation, development of conceptual models.