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(Minute 15 - What is Blue Engineering?)
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* In 2009 a few students at Technische Universität Berlin noted:  
* In 2009 a few students at Technische Universität Berlin noted:  
* "We need more social and ecological responsibility in engineering education and profession. This is our idea..."
* "We need more social and ecological responsibility in engineering education and profession. This is our idea..."
'''Key Question - Mutual and Fundamental Concern'''
'''Key Question - Mutual and Fundamental Concern'''
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*How is it organized today, and
*How is it organized today, and
*how should it be?  
*how should it be?  
'''Blue Engineering is about ...'''
'''Blue Engineering is about ...'''
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*... working together to bring about change from within  
*... working together to bring about change from within  
*... practicing personal responsibility and democracy
*... practicing personal responsibility and democracy
'''Blue Engineers...'''
'''Blue Engineers...'''
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*... help and support each other  
*... help and support each other  
*... organize lectures, seminars, workshops
*... organize lectures, seminars, workshops
'''From a students‘ project to an established seminar'''
'''From a students‘ project to an established seminar'''

Version vom 26. Januar 2021, 18:52 Uhr

Introductory Blue Engineering Session - Digital


This first building block serves as an introduction to Blue Engineering. The students are familiarized with both the content and concept of the seminar. They also get to know each other. The practical aspects of the seminar, as well as its origin, structure and ideas are presented by the facilitators. By elaborating on the idea of "social and ecological responsibility" the participants approach the subtitle of Blue Engineering.

After the introduction the participants individually create a mindmap on the topic of responsibility. This is then discussed in small groups. During additional interactive work phases in rotating groups, all students are requested to engage and get to know each other. In the follow-up participants contribute their own ideas to the seminar even further. This is done by photographing and introducing themselves with a personal topic.

At TU Berlin the introductory session is a 90-minute unit. It is combined with the following building block: "100 Points – Demands on Technology Design". More detailed information can be found in the notes.

Einstiegssitzung des Blue Engineering Seminars - digital
The introductory session provides key information on the seminar.
Introduction, getting to know each other, responsibility of engineers
Changing perspectives, Gaining interdisciplinary knowledge, Handling incomplete and overly complex information, cooperation, participation
Forms of Learning
creative, cooperative
lecture, group work
Group Size
60 minutes, in combination with “100-Points“ 90-minute building block
Material and Space
very good - basic building block in Berlin
Winter Semester 2020/21

Preparation and Follow-Up

Facilitators’ Preparation

The facilitators make themselves familiar with the software used for the video conference. The software must support breakout sessions. The facilitators may contact alumni or former tutors inviting them to moderate a small group in the closing circle of this building block. The facilitators prepare a learning platform in the style of a forum. They create forum posts with the slides and tasks for the participants to follow and reply to.

Participants’ Preparation


Participants’ Follow-Up

The participants reflect upon the content of the session in a first entry in their personal journal.

They also post a photo and a brief statement to a forum, showing themselves in relation to a topic that is on their minds momentarily.


Minute 00 – Getting to Know Each Other


The facilitators welcome the participants and set up breakout sessions. They ask them to get to know each other in small groups. The participants split up in breakout sessions of 4 people and get to know each other.


Task: Get to Know Each Other (10 min)

  • Who are you? What is your study programme?
  • Where are you right now?
  • Why did you choose to join Blue Engineering?
  • What is your favourite technology? Which technology would you ban, if you could?

Minute 10 - Greeting and Introduction


The facilitators welcome the whole group and introduce themselves and the schedule of today’s session. They introduce the basic use and rules of the video platform if necessary.


The Team

  • Insert your names here

Schedule of today’s session

  • 00:00 – Introduction and Getting to Know Each Other
  • 00:15 – What is Blue Engineering?
  • 00:20 – What is responsibility?
  • 00:35 – How does the BE seminar work?
  • 00:40 – Example Building Block, e.g. 100 Points
  • 01:15 – Time for Questions and overview of upcoming sessions
  • 01:20 – closing circle with open ending

Guidelines for the video conference

  • Start video, mute in big group, use gallery view
  • We start and end sessions together, please be on time
  • Post your questions in the chat

Minute 15 - What is Blue Engineering?


The facilitators introduces Blue Engineering.


Origin of Blue Engineering

  • In 2009 a few students at Technische Universität Berlin noted:
  • "We need more social and ecological responsibility in engineering education and profession. This is our idea..."

Key Question - Mutual and Fundamental Concern

  • Who produces
  • what,
  • for what purpose,
  • at what pace,
  • with which means and
  • based on which technology?
  • How is it organized today, and
  • how should it be?

Blue Engineering is about ...

  • ... understanding environmental and social responsibility
  • ... questioning, rethinking and designing technology
  • ... working together to bring about change from within
  • ... practicing personal responsibility and democracy

Blue Engineers...

  • ... have skills and freedoms that they can use
  • ... network in university, business and beyond
  • ... share information and ideas beyond borders
  • ... help and support each other
  • ... organize lectures, seminars, workshops

From a students‘ project to an established seminar

  • Development of the seminar concept in a project workshop - starting 2009
  • First Seminar in WS 2011/2012 with 25 participants at TU Berlin
  • Studie Reform Project since WS 2012/2013
  • Established at HTW Berlin, TU Hamburg, HS Düsseldorf, TU Dresden, HS Ruhr West, TH Köln, Uni Stuttgart, HAW Hamburg and counting
  • Registered association since 2017
  • BE-Seminar in our institution Insert information about the BE-Seminar at your Institution here

Minute 20 - What is Responsibility?


The facilitators introduce the use and rules of the forum (learning platform). The facilitators present the first task. They give 3 minutes time to work on it individually. They then introduce the concept of breakout sessions and guidelines for discussions in small groups.

After that the facilitators explain the tasks of the group work (5 students in one group, 10 min).

The participants work on the first task individually. For the second task they independently work on it in breakout rooms without any facilitators. They post the results of the group work in the forum.

After the group work the breakout sessions end. The facilitators briefly state what responsibility means in the sense of Blue Engineering and comment on the students' definitions.


How to Use our Forum

  • - Insert most important instructions here -

Task 1: What is Responsibility? - individual work - 3 min Create mind map on the topic of responsibility e.g. Towards whom? For what? When not?...

How do Breakout Sessions work? Virtual room for working in small groups Facilitators will send you in and draw you back In breakout sessions the chat is only visible in your “room” Call us if you need help or come back for questions

How does group discussion work? One person starts talking and chooses the next person to speak Show each other if you want to talk (e.g. raise your hand) Keep it short and crisp Choose only a few aspects to comment on Listen and refer to each other

Task 2: Buzz Group on Responsibility – group work - 10 min Presents your thoughts on responsibility in about in 1 minute each Discuss the topic together Identify similarities and differences Agree on one sentence as a definition: “Responsibility…” Post this sentence to the forum (only one group member)

Responsibility as understood in Blue Engineering These are the results of first brainstorming on responsibility in 2010. Therefore they are only a snapshot. Ecological Responsibility Cautious and sustainable use of resources Technology tailored to meet local needs Durable, reparable, reusable devices

Social responsibility Fair and democratic working conditions Think and work collaboratively Network and be a role model

Minute 35 - How does the BE seminar work? Notes The facilitators outline the structure of the seminar, the learning outcomes and the examination. Furthermore, the “Blue Toolbox” is introduced. The facilitators also emphasize that this seminar is driven by the students. The participants' input will shape the seminar’s methods and content. The facilitators prepare to include a 30-minute building block into the following sequence.

Slides Main Learning Outcomes Not only solve problems, but actually define them Learn with and from others Practice participation and democratic interaction Consider technology and nature as social conditions

Involve in the Seminar Students are involved and interact Share information on technology and society Contribute to further seminars Participate in all building blocks (max. two missed sessions per semester)

Building Blocks - What is that? Modular teaching/learning units covering one topic Consist of: preparation, presence phase, follow-up Diverse methods and didactics - well documented Teaching/learning process is largely transferred towards participants Good moderation instead of experts' knowledge

This semester's schedule - Insert semester’s schedule here -

(phase 1: tutors moderate, phase 2: participants present, phase 3: participants present improved version)

- Include 30 min block - for example "100 points" - At this point a first building block is performed. The participants get an idea of what a building block is and how it is structured. Regardless of which building block you choose a first tool is included. The tools' concept has to be explained. This builds a bridge back to the introductory building block.

Tools – What is that? Special feature of Blue Engineering Short text represented by some kind of object Texts make complex issue of society tangible Collected in the “Blue Toolbox”

Tools – What can they do? Draw your attention to some general mechanisms that appear in various social and cultural contexts One tool can allow you to discover new aspects in many different situations Tools link issues between different fields Inspire you to reflect in your personal journal

Examination - 100 points in total 50 points – semester project: develop, present and document a building block with your team 50 points – personal journal: reflect the weekly sessions Participation in weekly video conference is mandatory Only up to 2 missed sessions per semester

Semester Project - 50 out of 100 points Development: in small groups of 2 to 4 students - be creative - follow your interests Presentation: 2 times - for about 7 to 12 fellow students - improve by incorporating feedback Documentation: use given template - goal is reusability in future semesters - basis for grade

How to design your building block 30 min - digital teaching/learning unit on a self-chosen topic Preparation - video conference - follow-up Diverse methods and didactics - well documented Teaching/learning process is largely transferred towards participants Good facilitation instead of experts' knowledge Have a look at examples of good digital building blocks (e.g. 100 points, plastics)

Personal Journal - 50 out of 100 points Record reflection on seminar's content and your personal conclusions Discuss at least 2 tools Go a step further with transfer: newspaper articles, documentaries, conversations with friends... Include creative elements: inner dialogue, sketches, collages, role plays, songs... Pay attention to an appealing design Some tasks of preparation and follow-up can be done in the journal About 300 words per entry Analogue or digital (submission as PDF)

Contact us - insert your contact details here -

Minute 75 - Time for Questions and overview of next sessions Notes The facilitators give an outlook on the following weeks and answer the participants' questions. They provide a Question & Answer - category on the forum (learning Platform). Slides The next weeks - insert schedule with building blocks of the next few weeks here -

Questions - Poste your questions concerning the course, the exam etc. in the Q&A of the forum - Depending on the question, we will answered it directly or in the forum/ next session - Send us questions on personal matters via e-mail

Minute 80 – Closing Circle Notes The facilitators present the task for individual work and give 3 minutes time. Then they explain the tasks for the group work and the ones for the follow-up as well. The closing circle takes place in breakout sessions. The facilitators set up rooms for 15 to 25 participants. Each small group is guided by one tutor. If necessary, former participants or tutors can join in to make sure group size remains manageable. If done so, the facilitators briefly introduce the additional facilitators. This last breakout session has an open end. The groups can discuss as long as they want.

Slides Personal topic - individual work - 3 min Brainstorm shortly: What issues are currently on your mind? Choose the topic that currently concerns you the most

Getting to know each other in breakout sessions - Group work - 7 min Someone begins by mentioning his/her name, course of study and his/her personal topic in two or three sentences then he/she decides on who is to introduce him/herself next

Unanswered questions and networking Use the remaining time to clarify any questions Talk and share ideas on your topics

Follow-Up Take a photo in which you refer to your personal topic. Comment on it briefly and post it in the forum topic “Introduce Yourself – Photo and Personal Topic”. Write the first entry of your learning journal. You can look up the requirements in this forum again. Notes Authors' Note Fundamental building block in Berlin - successfully tested with 120 participants. Three tutors along with two other Blue Engineers moderated the final circles in five breakout sessions. By including the 30 minute long building "100 points", the introductory session is a 90 minute unit. The building block providing all the information on Blue Engineering is temporarily interrupted to incorporate one of the two short building blocks.

The personal topic that the participants talk about in the end may be a first step in the process of coming up with a topic for the semester project. The facilitators can already make the participants aware of that during this session.

All the information on the learning journal and the semester project should be additionally posted to a well visible area in the forum (learning platform). This way students can check up on the requirements during the whole semester.

Further Notes Still to come. Participants‘ Follow-Up - Material Notes The facilitators set up a forum. This is the place for the participants to post their follow-up. In order to motivate the participants, every facilitator should upload a photo and comment himself/herself, telling them about a topic currently occupying his/her mind.

Introduce Yourself - Photo and Personal Topic Get creative by taking a photo in which you refer to your personal topic. Comment on it briefly and post it as a reply to this post.