Schoolchildren from Tomsk, Kemerovo, Perm Region, Primosky Krai and the Republic of Buryatia took part in the Summer School of the Entertaining Science Center Sklad Uma. 150 pupils of 5-10 grades studied STEM sciences. Participants not only prepared for examinations, but also comprehended the very essence of certain scientific phenomena, conducted laboratory works and developed their own projects. For examples, younger children determined whether the dyes are present in packaged tea of different brands, studied the issues of aerodynamics and listened to how electricity ‘sings’; older children created biodegradable polymers.
During the Summer School tutors and students of Tomsk Polytechnic University conducted 422 classes and schoolchildren prepared 26 projects for school conferences.
There were seven seasons in the Engineering Summer School. Each season had been lasting two weeks. Various classes were devoted to excursions, physics, chemistry and mathematics, lab works and project works.
Schoolchildren visited laboratories at different TPU institutes, got familiar with researchers’ works and university training fields. Older children studied physics, chemistry and mathematics in more detailed way, conducted their own experiments and developed research projects under the supervision of lecturers and PhD students.
For instance, PhD student Alexander Lukianov was a supervisor of schoolchildren who worked on a biodegradable polymer with predetermined properties. In order to understand how to get certain properties they put hypotheses and together with their supervisor proved them practically.
Other projects were the creation of a device for measuring stress in geological layers and many other interesting topics.
Younger children got acquainted with physical and chemical phenomena under the supervision of tutors from Sklad Uma, as well as university lecturers and PhD students.
Children tried to make hand-made Slime toys or new-fashioned spinners and to test certain products, in particular dyes in packaged tea, played chemical games, etc. At aerodynamics master classes they tried to design plane models and tested their constructions whether they can fly or not.
‘Our main objective was both to help schoolchildren understand those subjects that they will take examinations on and explain them the essence, and show clearly where these physical and chemical phenomena can be seen. For example, in nature, at work or at home. We clarified children who chose physics for examination, why it is important to study chemistry and mathematics. From the first year of study at university students should read chemistry. Further work will require knowledge in all the subjects. It refers to mathematics too. Now almost every branch of science needs the creation of mathematical models. We tried to explain these links in our interdisciplinary classes and shown that today a modern scientist have to deal with several sciences,’ says Anastasiya Dmitrieva, Head of the Entertaining Science Center Sklad Uma.
According to her, one of the main objectives of the Engineering Summer School at TPU was vocational guidance activities with schoolchildren.
‘We try to develop technical and engineering skills and show children as much as possible as far as different fields of training concerns, to help them understand what they are interested in and what they want to become after leaving school,’ says Head of Sklad Uma.