Unique project on the conscious management of money

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Students teach pupils how to handle money responsibly in the ’Because we c
Students teach pupils how to handle money responsibly in the ’Because we care’ workshop

Students take financial literacy workshops to schools

What does inflation mean? What kinds of saving and investment products are available? Students at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have developed the workshop "Because We Care" to teach young pupils about money management. They visit schools on a voluntary basis to give age-appropriate and easily understandable presentations.

The idea behind the school workshop "Because We Care" comes from Rudi Zagst, a professor of financial mathematics and Deputy Academic Program Director of the TUM master’s program in Finance and Information Management. The program, which is offered jointly with the University of Bayreuth, is the only such graduate degree course in Germany to incorporate a social project as a mandatory module.

Money management and retirement planning

As part of the module, seven participants will visit various schools throughout Bavaria in the spring of this year. They will design, organize and run the project independently. Depending on the pupils’ ages, the goal of the workshop is for them to gain a basic understanding of personal finance and teach them about responsible money management and retirement planning. "We have tailored the workshop contents to the pupils’ everyday lives. We use real-world examples to explain such concepts as inflation or compound interest as well as various forms of investments. Through interactive games, they can apply what they have learned and gain a deeper understanding," says Rudi Zagst. At the moment, the workshops are offered for the middle and upper grades.

The workshops - offered free of charge - are in heavy demand: already more than 30 schools across Bavaria and even outside the state have applied. In a pilot phase, the students visited a vocational school and an academic secondary school. They are now trying to cover as many of the interested schools as possible.

Preparing for the workshop

To prepare for the workshop and communicate their knowledge as effectively as possible, the students acquire many soft skills during their master’s studies such as presentation techniques and pedagogical concepts. New students will take over the project in the summer semester and plan to continue it. They are already taking part in the workshops and have gained initial experience.