tasteMINT: Girls test their strengths at the TU Ilmenau

Is a mathematics or science subject an option for me, and if so, which one should I choose? These are questions that many female students ask themselves shortly before they graduate from high school. With the format tasteMINT, the Thuringian Coordination Office for Science and Technology (ThüKo NWT) and the TU Ilmenau encourage girls in their choice of studies and show them what skills they have for STEM studies.

TU Ilmenau/Eleonora Hamburg
In the UNIKAT student workshop, the girls practice soldering on circuit boards.

Trying things out before studying a subject - the study orientation and assessment format tasteMINT, a joint initiative of the Thüko NWT and the TU Ilmenau, makes this possible in a compact week. In practical exercises, high school girls at the TU Ilmenau find out whether they have the confidence to study STEM subjects and in which fields their strengths lie.

The girls solve tasks from computer science, mathematics or technology - and do so in teamwork with female students of the same age. Trained assessors observe them and the participants then receive individual feedback on how well they have approached solving a problem and worked in a team.

Empower girls in their competencies

The format is aimed specifically at schoolgirls who are interested in STEM studies but are not yet able to assess what requirements are involved. Jenny Gramsch, head of the Schülerforschungszentrum Ilmenau, wants to support the girls in their perception of competence:

Young women in particular often take a back seat and, even withn good grades do not trust themselves to study a scientific or technical subject. Through the professional feedback of employees of the Thüko NWT and the TU Ilmenau, i.e. a comparison of self-perception and perception by others, they usually come out of the tasks strengthened and have a clearer idea of the requirements in their studies.

The ability to abstract, assertiveness, problem-solving skills - how someone approaches a problem is just as important as prior technical knowledge, says Jenny Gramsch. This knowledge helps the schoolgirls to have the confidence to study STEM subjects.

tasteMINT is more than just solving problems. The participants from all over Germany immerse themselves for a week in everyday study and research at the TU Ilmenau. They visit the university's laboratories, solder in the UNIKAT student workshop and exchange ideas with female students who are on hand to answer any questions they may have about studying.

Lea Müller attends the 11th grade of a high school and has traveled all the way from Saxony-Anhalt to experience everyday study life at the TU Ilmenau. She has made up her mind - she wants to study computer science at a smaller university like TU Ilmenau:

I am currently looking around at universities and considering whether I want to study in Ilmenau. Through tasteMINT, I get to know the university on site and at the same time get feedback on how I can communicate better in teams in the future, for example.

tasteMINT helps with the decision to study

Success stories from former participants show how well the concept of the assessment process works. They visit the university again for the study information days, take part in the summer university at the university or enroll as students for technical and scientific subjects.

If the young women then decide to study, they are often very successful, as experience has shown, says Dipl.-Ing. Sabine Fincke, a member of staff at the TU Ilmenau who coordinates practicING offers. The practicING team supports the participants with practical offers in cooperation with the student workshop UNIKAT and is impressed by the achievements of the young women at the TU Ilmenau:

Our female students manage their studies very well because they make a very conscious decision to do so. Formats like tasteMINT help girls become clear about their own strengths and make a study decision they are sure about.

The next opportunity for schoolgirls to get a taste of university life is offered by the Studieninfotag on April 22 and the Summer University from July 09 to 14, 2023. Further information and registration at

Would you also like to try your hand at soldering, milling or the 3D printer? Then visit the UNIKAT student workshop at the Ilmenau Science Night! The students will be demonstrating how they get hands-on in their engineering studies and implementing exciting practical projects. Or drop by the Study Lounge!

Impressions from tasteMINT


Thüringer Koordinierungsstelle NWT