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The Learning Partnership for the Profilabitur


The NCL Foundation is the learning partnership for the Profilabitur under the sponsorship of Alexandra Dinges-Dierig, Hamburg’s Education Senator. The aim is to raise awareness amongst senior pupils, with the aid of specific examples of rare diseases. The Learning Partnership should make genetics more accessible to students. To ensure this goal is met, other organisations have also been brought on board. This included the Lademannbogen Laboratory and the Scientific-Technical Centre in Hamburg. Together we offer the students a module based learning package. Throughout 5 practical-oriented modules, students will learn more about the principles of human genetics, its methods and ethical problems. At the same time, they gain an insight into different areas of work.

Module 1:


Learning/revising basic knowledge of genetics


Definition of “Rare Diseases”/NCL

Module 2:

Briefing on Human Genetics and a laboratory tour

Students create a genealogy tree (preparatory work)


Development of a briefing on genetics based on the analysis of genealogy


Visit to a human genetics diagnosis laboratory

Module 3: PCR course at NWZ

Practical work in the laboratory – performance of PCR analysis to examine a fictional family of NCL

Module 4: Bio-ethical group discussion

Consensus conference on the theme of the “prevention chip”


The students work in small groups, compiling the views of different interest groups.

Module 5: Becoming active ourselves

Students organise an information campaign or a benefit, e.g. a charity run in support of the NCL Foundation

The modules don’t have to be followed in the above order and can be changed upon consultation to fit individual needs. Depending on the amount of time available, the Learning Partnership can be implemented in “short format”. All modules are optional except for Modules 1 and 5.


In the school year 2012/13, twelve schools in Hamburg took up the offer

We look back to a successful school year 2012/13. In this year, a total of 12 schools took part in the Learning Partnership. Gaining 5 new partner schools in that year was an important achievement for us. Almost 300 students listened attentively to the talks on rare diseases and NCL and gained an insight into working in a laboratory. 

The group discussions ensured plenty of topics of conversation. We can’t forget about Module 5; where the students themselves become active. The Heilwig Secondary School started a sponsored walk in the city park in May 2013. Pupils from all classes ran with great zeal for a good cause and were able to present a cheque for €17,155 at the end, to the NCL Organisation. Likewise, the benefit concert organised by the pupils of Walddorf Secondary School in November 2012 was a huge success. A total of €770 was collected for our benefit. We would like to thank all partner schools, who supported the NCL organisation that year by selling hot-dogs, providing information stands and much more.




 (Photography: Heilwig Secondary School’s Sponsored Walk, 2013)



Press commentaries

On 16/10/2013 the “Frankfurter AllgemeineZeitung” (*well-known German newspaper) reported on the NCL Foundation’s school project. The title of the report by journalist, Inka Wahl, was “Knowledge, Thought, Pipetting”. Ms Wahl accompanied Süderelbe Secondary School through all modules. The FAZ kindly provided us with access to the article: „Wissen, Denken, Pipettieren" (German).




Contact Person

Tiziana Serio

Phone: +49 (0) 40-69 666 74-28

Mobile:    +49 (0) 177-246 37 58


This German - English translation was done by the translators Tizzy Mann, Andrea Murphy, Kate Humby and Marcia Neff for the PerMondo initiative that involves providing free translations for NGOs. PerMondo is sponsored and run by the translation agency Mondo Agit.