The new premises of the 'meetMINT-Space' are located on the Neustadtswall campus in the SI building. Project manager Susanne Peter has redesigned an area of around 140 square metres to fit the meetMINT purpose of experimentation and communication: A lounge, a work area, an event room, and an event office can now be used for new meetMINT formats. A special highlight: the 'female professor gallery' in the lounge. Here, you can find pictures of all the female professors teaching in male-dominated degree programmes at HSB in one place. 'The idea is to make the female professors in the STEM disciplines at HSB more visible in order to reinforce role-model effects,' says Susanne Peter.
'I am delighted that we are able to create a place at HSB where female STEM university students can develop participatory activities across the STEM disciplines for young women still at school – and at the same time offer a permanent point of contact for networking prospective female STEM students,' says Prof. Dr. Karin Luckey. 'My thanks go to the project leader Susanne Peter and especially to the Brede Foundation in Bremen, which makes this possible with its funding.'
'Women can also do STEM – it's just that they often don't know it. That's why the Brede Foundation supports the meetMint project by funding the MeetMint Lab at HSB,' says E. Dorothee Brede on behalf of the foundation's board of trustees.
Sascha Karolin Aulepp, Senator for Children and Education: 'Finding out what interests me and what I'm good at is what counts. At meetMINT, female school students can find out about the still male-dominated STEM degree programmes from other young women already at university and thus perhaps discover unsuspected interests and capabilities, independent of clichés and beyond outdated perceptions. It's great to see STEM-enthusiastic young women getting together as allies in a joint cause!'
Senator for the Environment, Climate and Science, Kathrin Moosdorf: 'At Bremen's universities, only about one in five professorships in the STEM field is held by a woman. This state of affairs must not be left unaddressed. Initiatives such as the meetMINT-Space at Hochschule Bremen are extremely useful. As part of the Bremen University Gender Offensive, my office, in dialogue with the universities in Bremen, is consistently pursuing the goal of increasing the proportion of women studying and teaching in STEM subjects.
'The range of activities covered by the new meetMINT-Space is diverse,' explains Susanne Peter. 'It includes the training of student role models, reflection on the different STEM cultures, and the interdisciplinary development of practice-oriented activities for female school students under consideration of socio-political problem issues.' Female school students can look forward to networking and informative meetings with their more experienced female role models. Open meetings are also regularly held with the aim of intensifying the exchange of information and ideas with other STEM-enthusiastic female school students and female students of STEM degree courses. Female students from various STEM disciplines – from automation and bionics to computer science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and environmental technology – will be on hand to offer advice and support. Starting out from the meetMINT-Space, the university can also be explored – with female university students accompanying prospective STEM students on visits to female members of staff working in the laboratories and research facilities at HSB.
Since the implementation of the meetMINT programme, there are already signs of a slight increase in the number of enrolments in the faculties with STEM content. For example, in Faculty 2 – School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering: Here the proportion of female students has risen from 37 percent (winter semester 2016/2017) to 43.2 percent (winter semester 2022/2023). This includes, for example, the International Bachelor's degree programme in Environmental Engineering, with a 5 percent increase over the period.
This effect is to be further reinforced by the meetMINT-Space, and the proportion of female students is to be constantly increased. The meetMINT-Space is part of the HSB project meetMINT-Lab. The project is funded by the Brede Foundation with 140,000 euros from November 2021 to the end of April 2025. Even when the project ends, activities are to be continued on a sustainable basis with the help of interested female school students and the women working and studying at HSB – and the meetMINT-Space is to become a permanent feature as a meeting place.
'I have taken part in numerous meetMINT events since the 7th grade, says Josephine Franke, who studies bionics at HSB and will in future be involved as a student role model in the meetMINT-Space. 'Not only was it a lot of fun, it also strengthened my desire to choose a STEM subject and helped me a lot in my decision.'
'Permanent measures are needed to attract more women to STEM', emphasises Susanne Peter. Social structures cannot be changed so easily. With the meetMINT programme at HSB, the project manager – working together with her team and in cooperation with companies and the STEM degree programmes since 2016 – has developed ways to provide orientation to prospective female students of STEM subjects.