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Company News, 2006-09-15, 11:00 AM

ThyssenKrupp and WAZ launch second national technology support program for schools

Young engineers are in short supply in Germany. There are currently around 15,000 vacancies which cannot be filled due to a lack of engineering graduates. One of the main reasons for this is that technical subjects are not part of the school curriculum. At best, technically-minded teachers are running individual projects on their own initiative to get pupils interested in engineering careers.

To encourage such projects, ThyssenKrupp and the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper (WAZ) are launching the second "Idea Makers" support program. A prize of 5,000 euros will be awarded to each of the ten winning projects. The competition is open to schools, classes, work groups and projects, but also to non-school educational institutions throughout Germany. The aim is to find projects with smart ideas and strong commitment which are getting children and young people enthusiastic about technology.

Entry forms can be downloaded from the website from September 15. The closing date for entries is October 31, 2006. The winning projects will be selected by a panel comprising representatives from the WAZ and ThyssenKrupp AG as well as independent education experts. The winners will be announced in February 2007. The projects selected by the panel will also be eligible for an additional prize of 5,000 euros awarded by the general public in an online vote. All candidates will be presented on the website from February.

The prizes for the first ten projects were awarded in May 2006. The prize winners were five schools and nonprofit organizations from North Rhine-Westphalia, two from Lower Saxony and one each from Bavaria, Berlin and Brandenburg. ThyssenKrupp has initiated several projects aimed at raising enthusiasm for technology among young people and improving the conditions for innovations. In May 2006, more than 200,000 people visited the "Ideas Park 2006", a technology exhibition staged by ThyssenKrupp and over 50 partners on the Expo site in Hanover.

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