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Annual review 2017 from Ukraine: ‘Twelve STEM Apostoles’ spread information about Science on Stage

One year passed since Ukraine became part of Europe’s biggest community of STEM teachers, Science on Stage Europe. Joining this network became an important step in rebuilding the post-Soviet educational system in Ukraine – from bureaucracy and «window dressing» events to the real innovations and useful practical skills for STEM teachers. It also seriously moved the national education system towards European integration. In November 2016 the first National Science on Stage festival in Ukraine was successfully organised at the Educational Centre of Youth Gifts Development at the premises of Karazin Kharkiv National University. An experienced jury led by the outstanding and bright UK physics teacher David Featonby chose 12 Ukrainian teachers to present their ideas at the European Science on Stage festival 2017 in Debrecen, Hungary. They presented ten projects and had a chance to share ideas with colleagues from all over Europe. After that the information about the activities of the Science on Stage community spread fast all over the country. At the festival in Hungary the participants gained new ideas, useful contacts and made new friends. Let’s have a look at the events that happened after the festival in Ukraine! 

Like ‘12 Apostles’ those 12 STEM teachers who represented the Ukraine at the European festival never missed a chance to spread their experiences afterwards. With absolutely positive emotions they started to travel in different cities to share ideas, inspiration and motivation with colleagues to improve teaching methods and approaches in their work. Greetings from important people and scientists (in Debrecen see the photo below) were also unusual for teachers from 2 Ukraine: Now they are working on the advertisement and promotion of the festival, its spirit and follow-up activities and are full of ideas concerning the next event which will be held 2018 in Kharkiv. 

In September 2017 teachers from Sumy Juliia Batura and Vita Chmelenko took part in three Ukrainian Science on Stage seminars (Summy, Chernigiv and Rivne) for biology and chemistry teachers. The participants were informed about the Science on Stage festival and invited to join the community to present their innovative best practice teaching ideas at the upcoming event which wil take place from 26-27 October 2018 at Karazin Kharkiv National University. 

Three representatives from Kharkiv Nataliya Kazachkova, Faina Bogynova and Maryna Korniienko presented a workshop at the third International scientific-practical conference “STEM education: implementation and development prospects” from 9-10 November 2017. The conference was organised in Kyiv by the following organisations: Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, National Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, SNI Institute of the Educational Content Modernisation, the National Centre Junior Academy of Science and the leading universities of the country such as Kharkiv, Zaporizzia, Ternopil, Mykolaiv, Odesa etc. The main goal of the conference was the search and identification of effective approaches that use innovative STEM education technologies at schools. The following events were held during the conference: interregional teaching forum, poster sessions, meetings of creative groups, workshops, master-classes, teaching studios and short oral sessions. More than 250 participants from 27 Ukrainian cities got to know about the Science on Stage community, watched the festival videos with Ukrainian translation and had an opportunity to watch the festival posters, hands-on experiments, best projects, and European teaching materials. They were impressed by the motto “from teachers to teachers” and realised how important that event had been. 

And what is next to happen? We are not going to stop. The information about Science on Stage has already appeared at the nine Ukrainian educational sites. From 22-28 January there will be a webinar named “Week of effective professional learning” organised by the SNI Institute of the Educational Content Modernisation. The format of the event is a so called Web-STEM-school. It will be a motivating teaching course for teachers from experts, innovative teachers, which will help to find ideas, solutions and methods for rebuilding and changing the system of educational institutes in Ukraine. All members of Science on Stage Ukraine will present their ideas at oral presentations and with online posters. We will broaden our horizons and inspire STEM teachers from all over Ukraine with Science on Stage ideas and experiences. 

Annual review 2017 by Dr Nataliya Kazachkova, Main NSC Science on Stage Ukraine