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Kharkiv: The first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival 2016

From 18-19 November 2016 the first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival was organised at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. Dr Nataliya Kazachkova, NSC of Science on Stage Ukraine reports:

'The main organisers were Kharkiv Educational Center for Youth Gifts Development Association (ECYGDA) and the Department of Physics and Technology. 27 participants from five Ukrainian cities presented their innovative projects on using simple house hold objects, handmade experiments and impressive demonstrations. On 19 November the Opening Ceremony started with the greetings of the representative of the Ukrainian Ministry of Science and Education, University Administration, and City Council Authority. The conference sponsors - 'Ranok' Publishing House and Corporation 'Biscuit Chocolate' – warmly welcomed the participants and the visitors.

Among the most important events during the festival were two impressive interactive lectures presented by the experienced jury members from the UK and Croatia. David Featonby demonstrated some unforgettable simple experiments which aimed at warming up the visitors as well as at demonstrating innovative approaches to science education. Leon Jurcic presented an informative lecture on STEM teaching in Croatia.

The participants of the festival were able to attend three master classes presented by the most experienced STEM teachers. Wonderful adventures in  'Sound Land' presented by Ph.D. Nataliya Kazachkova in Boiko private school was an interactive competition among small groups of pupils at the lesson using physics toys and hand-on activity. 'Math Mosaic' was presented by Halyna Hodovana, private math teacher working with primary school children at Junior Karazin National University. Another master class on developing teacher skills in physical experiments demonstration was given by Leon Jurcic.

The presented projects were carefully examined by the jury (with the member of Executive Board from the United Kingdom, David Featonby). During the jury meeting twelve projects have been selected to take part at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary.

The main festival event was the fair of teaching innovations, which attracted more than 400 visitors, including school teachers, university staff and students. The visitors of the event took part in selecting the best projects by filling the feedback forms. Among the selected teaching projects was the project about ecology presented by biology and chemistry teachers from Sumy, the project concerning using physics toys at physics lessons from Kharkiv (ECYGDA organization), the project concerning the creation of unified database of physical experiments from house hold stuff presented by Ph.D. student from Kharkiv Uliana Nyemchenko as well as the project about developing kids curiosity from Mariupol teachers Alla and Tetyana Ziganzhynovy. The prize of visitors sympathy according to the question forms have been obtained by Igor Pliuto from Kyiv with his demonstration of  human eye retina. The whole range of science education was covered from the kindergarten up to the university level dealing with the formation of STEM teachers.

All the participants got certificates of attendance, useful textbooks from Publishing House 'Ranok' and sweet presents as prices from the Corporation Biscuit Chocolate. The winners of Ukrainian national selection are excited to get a chance of sharing their teaching innovations with the European colleagues, and to present their ideas at the international level.

Yeugenia Karlash, participant, stated: 'My project has not been selected as a winner, but I am so excited by the Science on Stage festival atmosphere and possibility to announce about your ideas that I am not disappointed at all. Those type of events just inspire me to do something interesting and innovating in future and I will never miss a chance to spread my absolutely positive emotions among my colleagues and friends! See you next year. I will do my best to become one of the winners!'

The first Ukrainian Science on Stage festival showed that Ukrainian STEM teaching innovations are worthy of visitors’ attention, and that Ukraine is expected to become one the most active members of the community in the recent years. Let carrousel of Ukrainian STEM teachers’ innovations rotate from teacher to teacher in Europe!'