With the help of application-oriented mathematics, the project School@DecisionTheatreLab aims to bring together high school students and scientists to investigate important social issues—such as climate change or sustainable mobility. Through mutual exchange, we plan to create a new science communication format in which both sides learn from each other: students gain exciting insights into current mathematical research and science benefits from the feedback of the students.

The project Schule@DecisionTheatreLab aims to introduce students to the exciting and fascinating research of application-driven mathematics, to decrease inhibitions about mathematics and science, and to awaken a greater understanding of the importance of mathematics for our society and future.

To this end, we will develop a new interactive format with which students can gain insights into mathematical research. At the same time, the relevance of mathematical modelling for decision-making processes will be highlighted. For the forecasts that arise from mathematical modelling can have a considerable influence on measures by politics and economy that are decided for citizens.

In order to sustainably establish this science communication format in schools, student teachers of mathematics are involved and are to gain inspiration for their future teaching activities through their participation in the project.

For science, the project offers the opportunity to learn from the students’ perspective. Modelling important societal issues is a rather new research area field, and details in the model are often not determined—as is with the modelling of complex physical systems. New ideas from everyday life and feedback on which aspects are considered more or less important can play a big role in improving models. Therefore, the project aims to facilitate science communication in two directions: on the one hand, bringing mathematics closer to students; on the other hand, developing a method that makes it possible to include practical perspectives in the mathematical models.

The project School@DecisionTheatreLab aims to combine two existing science communication formats—”School Lab” and “Decision Theatre”—creating an innovative format. **School Labs** are a mixture of workshops and lectures. Here, mathematicians explain the development of mathematical modelling and its application to relevant issues in society.

In the Decision Theatres, students can experiment with mathematical models by discussing topics such as sustainable mobility or COVID-19. In several scenarios, they put together different measures, such as driving bans and the expansion of bicycle infrastructures for mobility or different lockdown measures for COVID-19. With the help of interactive visualisation on large screens, the students can reconstruct and discuss the different effects of the taken measures on society and the future.

The Decision Theatres are conducted with students in grades 10-12 at the Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB).

**“Changing the world through mathematics!”**

We plan to develop Decision Theatres about three MATH+ research areas. Possible topics are:

- the spread of COVID-19 under different policies,
- Big Data, Machine Learning, and algorithms for social media networks and their ethical aspects as well as
- sustainable energy supply or sustainable mobility.

Both communication formats are accompanied by educational experts and social scientists (with a focus on diversity and gender equality). Through their perspective, the formats will be comparatively examined and continuously improved.

Six researchers from the three major Berlin universities (Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität, and Technische Universität) have developed the concept and will implement it. The team is divided into the following areas of responsibility:

**Scientific Coordination**: Ariane Beier, TU Berlin, MATH+**Decision Theatres/Spokesperson**: Dr. Sarah Wolf, FU Berlin**Teaching and Learning**: Dr. Luise Fehlinger, HU Berlin**Diversity**: Prof. Dr. Heike Solga, FU Berlin**Gender Equality**: Dr. Anina Mischau, FU Berlin**Communication**: Beate Rogler, TU Berlin, MATH+

As part of the program Experimental Science Communication Laboratories, School@DTL is funded by the Berlin University Alliance (BUA) for three years until the end of June 2024.

If you are interested in participating with your class or course, please contact us: dt@mathplus.de.