Educational program at IGS Herder: MAKING CHALLENGE SIMPLE

Project info

Cooperation Herausfo(e)rderer GUG and IGS Herder Frankfurt

Herausfo(e)rderer GUG (NGO), founded in 2019, based in Potsdam

7 employees, approx. 220 volunteers, 20 freelancers
Managing Director: Markus Teibrich

IGS Herder, founded in 1911 as a grammar school, integrated comprehensive school since 2005

Number of students: 580, teaching staff: 72, administration: 4
Principal: Martina Neumann-Beer

Project location: IGS Herder, Wittelsbacher Allee 6 -12, Frankfurt

2-week project in the 8th grade of the IGS – MAKING CHALLENGE SIMPLE (June 2023)

Our funding:
Contribution to the costs of this project in the amount of 4970 €.
Funding period: 1st half of 2023

As part of the “HERAUSFORDERUNG – einfach machen” (MAKING CHALLENGE SIMPLE) educational program, the young people in the 8th grade at IGS Herder develop two-week projects of own challenges outside of school in a self-determined way based on their own strengths and passions.

Whether a guinea pig house for the animal welfare association, working in a nursing home for the elderly, collecting donations for the food bank, a visit to Berlin, a bicycle tour to Leipzig or visiting the Frankfurt sports clubs: the young people leave their comfort zone, discover new strengths and take responsibility for themselves and others.

Through this experience of self-efficacy, they develop their full potential and become strong personalities. In the face of setbacks, they do not give up but seek their own way, thanks to increased resilience.

IGS Herder

The project operators

Die Herausfo(e)rderer GUG

The NGO “Die Herausfo(e)rderer GUG” see their mission in anchoring the educational program “HERAUSFORDERUNG einfach machen” in schools in the long term. They are a non-profit NGO specialized in accompanying and supporting schools in this context. As an officially recognized child and youth welfare organization, they also assume liability, supervisory responsibility and insurance for both the students and the volunteer escorts during the implementation phase. They enable the educational program to be carried out in compliance with the law, as the young people will be traveling outside the school grounds without teachers.

The IGS Herder

The IGS (Integrated comprehensive school) Herder in the Ostend district of Frankfurt am Main has set out to promote the personal development of young people to a special degree. As part of the ongoing school development, the educational program “HERAUSFORDERUNG einfach machen” is to be established at the school. To ensure that all future students can benefit from the educational program, the concept is to be firmly anchored in the school curriculum.

IGS Herder sees itself as a school where every child and young person can develop their own personality and abilities in the best possible way. The students should be able to pursue their own learning interests. Therefore, independent action and cooperation with others is encouraged in order to enable a sustainable impact on the development of the students through experiential learning.

Making Challenges Simple

From planning to preparation to implementation: In the challenge projects, learners become their own challengers. They set the direction themselves and are accompanied by coaches and companions in a goal-oriented process. The young people grow sustainably from the experience, as they are neither over- nor under-challenged through their own initiative and a high degree of participation. The challenge projects are as diverse as the personalities and interests of the learners themselves.

IGS Herder
IGS Herder

The young people go through this process in five phases: Inspiration, planning, implementation, reflection and transfer. In parallel, the accompanying teachers are trained (support without instructing) to accompany this process.

During the implementation phase, the so-called “Companions” will assist the students outside the school. The Companions are specially prepared for this role (first aid, coaching techniques, dealing with conflicts, prevention of sexualized violence …).

IGS Herder
IGS Herder

Here are many past project examples from the fields of art, music, crafts, inventing …

Why we are committed to the project

The IGS Herder convinced us with its plan to give young people the opportunity to focus on their own interests and preferences and to plan and implement these independently (with guidance) as a project. In doing so, they experience themselves as self-effective and important. We are sure that the young people will grow internally and will not forget this school project. This will give them the opportunity to become aware of their own concerns and needs in the future and to stand up for them.

We particularly like how much value is placed on the restraint of the accompanying adults. It is not always easy to hold back one’s own ideas for solutions and thus allow the young people to develop their own and possibly completely new results.

At the presentation on June 29, 2023 the young people reported on their projects and the challenges and solutions they encountered in their projects. For the accompanying adults and parents, the restraint and trust in the young people was challenging at times. The young people were very proud of their achievements, e. g. approaching homeless people on the street and offering them something to eat and drink. They experienced great openness, gratitude and also helpfulness.

We want to encourage children and young people to find their own learning paths. At IGS Herder, they should have the opportunity to develop their personalities and skills to the best of their abilities.

Martina Neumann-Beer, Headmistress IGS Herder


We were very happy to support this project and wish the students of the IGS Herder that “HERAUSFORDERUNGEN einfach machen” will become a permanent part of the school curriculum.