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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

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!'

Spreading the ‘spark of inspiration’ of the Science on Stage network to Ukrainian STEM teachers

In June 2016 Science on Stage Ukraine joined our European Science on Stage network as new member country. Now the Ukrainian NSC Dr Nataliya Kazachkova reports about spreading the 'spark of inspiration' to Ukrainian STEM teachers during this summer:

"At Ukraine we are a team of  of seven enthusiastic STEM teachers  from the best Kharkiv secondary schools - the 'Magnificent Seven', as we call ourselves jokingly. On19 August 2016 our working group met the first time to work and do our best to make the future Science on Stage festival in Kharkiv a wonderful, unforgettable and useful experience.

During the end of August and the beginning of September it has been done a lot to spread the information about Science on Stage Europe and the local Science on Stage conference in November among Ukrainian STEM teachers. The end of August is always a busy time in Ukraine because the regional and  subject teaching meetings take part all over the country. We used those links to inform our colleagues about the Science On Stage community.

Of our team Dr. Ruslan Shalamov for example informed about Science on Stage at biology and chemistry teachers meetings in Vinytsia and Rovno and spread the word at the Advanced Training STEM Teacher Institute in Odesa.

A lot of work has also been done in our native city Kharkiv which is always supposed as educational and cultural capital of Ukraine. Me and Dr Iryna Zaretska reported about Science on Stage at the annual August Meetings of Physics and Computer Science Teachers. Iryna Zaretskaya found a new partner for the future Conference: 'RANOK', a main publisher of Ukrainian text books and school literature which is a very popular in Ukraine.

Ukrainian primary school teachers from Kharkiv and Kyiv had also been informed about the first Ukrainian Science on Stage conference at the premises of Kharkiv National University in November. The preparation of teaching projects and methodical innovations in 'Nature' subject  is unusual for them, as in Ukraine there are no 'science classes' but a subject called 'Nature'. Primary school students start to learn that subject from the second year in school. The teachers told us about lots of difficulties with the teaching of those topics. They asked many questions so it was very actual and important that we translated some articles from the Science on Stage journal into Ukrainian and were able to demonstrate the examples of the STEM teachers projects from Europe to our colleagues. From the discussion we understood that sharing experience with European teachers would be actual and fruitful for our primary school pedagogues.

Recently we were invited to take part at the local TV Programme 'Cultural Kharkiv' where we didn’t miss a chance to spread our absolutely positive emotions about the Science on Stage community and a possibility to involve Ukraine in the European teaching net. Sharing ideas and experience from teachers to teachers is very important - Let’s see what will happen next! See the TV programme about SoS in two weeks. Wish us a good luck! Science on Stage Europe IS GOING to UKRAINE!"


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