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The educational project GREEN STrEAM was represented at parliamentary hearings for the first time

April 1, 2018, 12:16 p.m.

Do you know that science can be interesting when it is accompanied with green values? For example, it is possible to create a straw spider using a robot, combine chemistry with pysanka painting, make cheese horses, and learn physics with music.

It is this innovative approach to GREEN STrEAM education (S - science, T - technology, r - robotics, E - engineering, A - art, M – mathematics, which are based on green values) was initiated by the NGO “Open Policy Foundation” for the schoolchildren a few years ago.

Children from different parts of Ukraine study interesting science in the open educational center GREEN STrEAM - the International Green School in the Carpathians. For the first time, this unique educational project was presented by Iryna Zhdanova, the head of the Non-governmental organization “Open Policy Foundation”, at parliamentary hearings “National Innovation System: State and Legislative Development Support.”

“We will be able to build innovative Ukraine, in which in 5-7 years young scientists will want to live and work, if we continue the reforms we have started,” - said Iryna Zhdanova. - And also we will create scientific lyceums, boarding schools, open educational centers GREEN STrEAM in local communities, involving startupers, and the representatives of hi-tech companies and agribusiness.”

From the tribune of the Ukrainian Parliament Iryna Zhdanova has voiced four main proposals for the development of scientific education in Ukraine:

The first proposal

The NGO “Open Policy Foundation,” which is also the initiator and coordinator of the Civil platform for the reform of the scientific sphere, advocated for the introduction of separate articles on specialized scientific education at schools into the Law “On Education” and the Law “On Scientific, Scientific and Technical Activity.” There will be scientific lyceums and boarding schools in Ukraine. They should become the points of condensation of modern innovative education.

"It is necessary to implement these laws as soon as possible, start working on the development of standards of scientific education for schoolchildren, and develop and approve the Statute on scientific lyceums and boarding schools," - the head of the Open Policy Foundation said. - The Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine has proposed to include the experts of the Civil Platform for the Reform of the Scientific Sphere in Ukraine in the working group, who initiated and sponsored these articles, as well as directors of physical and mathematical lyceums and representatives of the Council of Young Scientists”.

Only by continuing the reforms and starting to invest in scientific lyceums and boarding schools, we can create an innovative space for the future of our young people and they will stay in a strong innovative country. To do this, it is necessary to unite specialized educational institutions and schoolchildren-innovators from hi-tech business or with successful startups. “This is exactly the experience I have seen in Israel, where only one of the startups was sold for $15 billion last year. Therefore, the revenue from the sale of startups is the first article of the state budget replenishment,” - added Iryna Zhdanova.

The second proposal

It is necessary to create GREEN STrEAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, art, mathematics) open educational centers (open schooling) in local communities. We also need to involve not only researchers and innovators but also business persons (hi-tech business and agribusiness, including the regional one), successful young startupers, and IT workers.

“In order to develop a regional model for the rural region, I propose to carry out testing on the basis of the International Green School, which has been working for 6 years in the highland village of Kosmach in the Carpathians,” - said the head of the Open Policy Foundation.

About the open educational center Green STrEAM - on the air of the program “Tsina pytannya” on the radio “Voice of Donbas”

The third proposal

There is a need for receiving institutional support and creating project teams. It is necessary to provide state funding for scientific lyceums/boarding schools and simultaneously create project teams for institutional support for scientific education in general and for attracting funds in particular. The latter include funds from the state and local budgets as well as the funds of European programs HORIZON 2020 and others. It should be emphasized that in the first nine months of the previous year local budgets increased by 30 billion hryvnias, compared with 2016. About 55 billion hryvnias from local budgets are on deposit accounts. Thus, it can be argued that some of this money can be allocated to support scientific education in Ukraine.

The fourth proposal

It is impossible to close physics and mathematics lyceums. Last year the Smiliansky Natural-Mathematical Lyceum was closed, and the Kyiv Physical and Mathematical Lyceum №142 is under the threat of closure. The State Educational Institution “Children's Engineering Academy” is also at high risk to be closed. Therefore, in the process of implementing the state strategy in the development of scientific education, it is necessary to support and develop these specialized educational institutions. Only with synergy, we will be able to build strong innovative Ukraine, which will become a startup-nation!

This position was emphasized by Iryna Zhdanova in her blog on the website lb.ua