Russian schoolchildren took a joint course organized by the RTU MIREA Altair Children's Technopark and the Dow company
The Sustainable Innovations distance course has been completed. It was jointly organized for schoolchildren in grades 8-11 by the RTU MIREA Altair Children's Technopark and the Dow company. On July 23, the participants successfully defended their projects completed during the training course.
Sustainable Innovation is an international course developed by We are innovators non-profit organization, a Dow company partner in the United States. The program was translated into Russian and implemented in our country for the first time. Trainers Sergei Ivanovich Tikhonov, Viktor Andreevich Kuvshinov, Alena Leonidovna Krapivko, Daria Gennadyevna Vedenyapina participated in adapting the course.
Schoolchildren took the course in a distance format, and it was available to schoolchildren from all regions of the country. Over 200 children from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kirov, Belgorod, Kemerovo, Zlatoust, Kaluga, and from towns in the Moscow region joined the course. About 40 schoolchildren reached the final stage of training and defended their projects. They presented their works and projects in Biotechnology, Green Energy, Preventive Medicine and Early Diagnostics, and Environmental Chemistry. Dow representatives attended the projects defense procedure.
“It was convenient to study online, as there was no need to waste time on traveling. I live in the town of Kolomna, and I would not have an opportunity to attend classes had they not been in the online format,” says Ekaterina Sergeeva, who this year finished the 11th grade of the Sergievskaya secondary school. - I learned a lot about genetic engineering and working with cells, for I worked in Biotechnology section. I got to know what biotechnologists are working at now and how they are doing it. Now I am planning to start the preparatory course in chemistry. But if I score enough points for Biotechnology, then, of course, I will try to enter that program too".
In general, the program included the study of topical social, economic and environmental issues, and sustainable innovations. Students were offered an opportunity to develop and use their creative skills to develop innovative ideas that would help solve problems in various areas, from energy efficiency technologies to biotechnology.
“It was for the first time that I learnt about the ideas of sustainable development, and they inspired me greatly, for, in fact, in school and in mass media, global issues and world welfare are rarely raised,” says Maria Vdovina, an 11-grader from a school on Vernadsky Prospect. - Before the selection process, we wrote an essay (kind of a motivation letter) about which areas of science and technology we want to get into, and the students with the best rating were assigned to the programs they wished to choose. I got into Biotechnology. At the beginning of the training process, general lectures were given to all the participants in the course, and after that, tests on the specific topics were offered.
It was the points received for these tests that were taken into account in the ranking of schoolchildren. As for the lectures, both general and specific ones in my area of interest, I found most of the information useful. For example, I didn’t know that solar cells have low efficiency degree, neither was I aware that so many manipulations are needed to transform the genotype of an organism.”
Maria’s team defended a project dealing with the problem of famine in Nigeria which could be possibly resolved with the use of genetically modified crops. The result was a well-deserved second place.
The course was made possible thanks to the collaboration between RTU MIREA and the Dow company. Earlier in the year, the company signed an industrial partnership agreement with the University. The main areas of cooperation are aimed at joint implementation of educational programs and projects, promotion of natural and technical sciences among schoolchildren on the basis of the RTU MIREA "Altair Children's Technopark ", and sharing of information about the best practices in the field of education.
Sometime before that, on the technopark premises, Dow employees, volunteers of the STEM (Science. Technology. Engineering. Mathematics.) movement, held pH indicator master classes for schoolchildren. More than 50 children learnt about the pH concept, conducted experiments to determine the pH of products and substances (water, lemon juice, soda, vinegar, washing powder, etc.) using red cabbage juice as a natural indicator
The RTU MIREA Altair Children's Technopark was created in September 2019 with the support of the Moscow Government. It became the first project where chemistry training laboratories were opened and special programs for schoolchildren were launched.