Teachers and Students

Teachers and Students

School programs

Catalysis – practically and simply explained for school students

Catalysis is one of the key technologies for the implementation of both economically important and ecologically environmentally friendly chemical processes. Catalysts play an important role in all areas of chemistry, from inorganic chemistry to biochemistry, when it comes to making reactions possible in the first place and operating them in a resource-saving manner.

Catalysis is also of great importance for a future sustainable energy supply. The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung offers a wide variety of formats to communicate the research content of the institute to pupils.

Experimental days at Mülheim secondary schools

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung cooperates regularly with various secondary schools in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Young scientists, most of whom are still doctoral students themselves, carry out experiments on various topics with students in grades 9–11 and thus work out complex topics together. Content can be individually adapted to the teaching content of the respective schools. The spectrum of experiments ranges from "fuel cell or battery", "polymerization and superabsorbents" to the "synthesis of aspirin".

There is a long-standing cooperation with, for example, the Gustav-Heinemann-Gesamtschule, the Willy Brandt Gesamtschule, the Gymnasium Broich, and the Luisenschule. The institute participates in holiday academies at the Luisenschule and organizes experimental days at the school and at the Institute.

Teachers interested in more information about school cooperation can send an E-Mail to PD Dr. Claudia Weidenthaler,

Girls' Day

The Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung regularly participates in the nationwide Girls' Day. The aim is to give young women insights into occupational fields that girls rarely consider in the process of career orientation. The Girls’ Day at the institute is planned and prepared with great commitment and ideas by the staff.

We offer female school students the opportunity to experience science and technology live in small groups at several experimental stations. They have the opportunity to produce small work pieces themselves under expert guidance in the precision mechanics workshop. What is otherwise only known from the laboratories of TV shows such as Navy CIS can be tested in one of our analytical departments. Directly at the analytical devices, we explain what can really be researched and what perhaps only works on television.

The registration for our Girls' Day offer is done at the official Girls' Day website. Coordinator of the Girls' Day at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung is PD Dr. Claudia Weidenthaler. If you have questions concerning the organization you can write an E-Mail to .


The institute offers internships to school students in the professional fields of chemical laboratory technician, physics laboratory assistant, and industrial mechanic / plant mechanic. However, internships are also possible in the IT department or in the glassblowing department. The internships take place in the individual work groups under individual supervision.

Interested school students must submit a written application for their internship or for voluntary internships during the holidays. The application must include a cover letter and a copy of the most recent certificate and should only be submitted in digital form. Please send in your application as early as possible, but no later than six months before you plan to start your internship.

Students should contact the correspondent research departments with their internship requests.

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