From our countries 24.07.2023

STEM education in Ukraine

First Round of the National Selection for the International Science on Stage Festival

(The situation with STEM Education in Ukraine after the Russian invasion)

Russia’s military actions and invasion of Ukraine started in February 2022 and led to severe consequences for STEM education in Ukraine. Primary and secondary schools, suffered human losses – many teachers, pupils, and parents were killed or died during the Russian occupation. Hundreds of schools were destroyed or damaged. Millions of children and thousands of teachers were forced to change their place of residence within the country or had to go abroad. Moreover, every day, all participants in the educational process have to overcome the challenges of war: forced interruptions in education, transition to distance or blended teaching and learning, air raids, and power outages. The full-scale war has worsened access to education, deepened existing educational inequalities, negatively affected the quality of the educational process and academic performance, and affected the psycho-emotional state of students and teachers.

However, in spite of all the facts mentioned above the Ukrainian STEM education is still alive and tries to manage problems, which are connected with permanent military actions. The Ukrainian government and local authorities are trying to ensure universal access to secondary education. They announced that the damaged schools would be restored as soon as possible, so in areas where school infrastructure has been destroyed, the priority is to provide access to distance education: the Internet, computers, and power sources. Full-time education in schools is possible only if there is shelter. According to the Ministry of Education and Science, as of January 2023, 71% of schools across Ukraine have shelters.

The post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, according to the plans of the Educational Authorities, is planned to be carried out with the broad involvement of international partners and with a focus on Ukraine's integration into the EU. At the same time, international and charitable organizations are already important partners of communities in rebuilding schools and ensuring access to education, taking on some of the repairs, providing computers, power supplies, and other resources needed by schools. In addition, international and charitable organizations are creating opportunities for learning in the face of destroyed infrastructure.

Regarding the activities of Science on Stage Ukraine: On May 13, the first round of the national selection for the International Science on Stage Festival took place in Lviv as part of the OL All-Ukrainian Science Festival.

STEM teachers from different parts of Ukraine prepared and presented their projects, and Nataliya Kazachkova with the Head of the Science on Stage NSC and employee of the Faculty of Physics and Technology of Karazin University together with Local Jury members, selected the most interesting ones. Each of these projects has its own uniqueness.

SonS Ukraine July 2023
© Science on Stage Ukraine 
SonS Ukraine July 2023
© Science on Stage Ukraine 

May is usually full of science events for all of Ukraine. Kharkiv (the eastern part of Ukraine) also celebrated Science Day in wartime and organised an impressive Science Day on the 20th of May 2023 at the premises of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. This annual Festival was attended by more than 3000 schoolchildren, teachers and parents.

All faculties and educational and research institutes presented interactive programs for visitors. The attendees were shown physical devices, chemical and physical experiments, optical illusions, introduced to the advanced scientific developments of Karazin University so as some other educational institutes and schools, and involved in management matches, quizzes, and psychological tests.

In addition, visitors had the opportunity to visit the Museum of Nature, the Museum of Archeology, the Institute of Astronomy, and the Landau Center.

SonS Ukraine July 2023
© Science on Stage Ukraine

After the meeting in June 2023 with the Rector of Karazin Kharkiv National University Prof. Dr. Tetiana Kaganovskaya, the Head of the STEM Department of the Institute of Education Modernization Dr. Iryna Vasilashko, some SonS teachers from Lviv, it has been decided to organise the National event during the  School holiday.  The dates of the Ukrainian National Festival are going to be 27-28 October 2023. However, the place of the event is still under discussion, due to the complicated political situation connected with war in Ukraine. So the place of the Festival will be announced later. Now the SonS Festival has been planned to be organised in Kharkiv or in Lviv. But the Local Organising Committee will do its best to choose the best STEM teachers’ projects from all over Ukraine for the International SonS Festival in Finland, Turku in August 2024.

Report: Nataliya Kazachkova

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