Back to school. And to the lab and office, as well

11. September 2018
Well, it’s all started again. And for pupils and students it’s not about getting back to the classroom on September 1; new discoveries, research, and fun – that’s what they can look forward to at school as well as during other activities and educational programs that support their interests in science and the spirit of enterprise.
Back to school. And to the lab and office, as well

Discovering hidden talents

Did you know that around 2–3% of children are exceptionally gifted? In the Czech Republic, this equates to about 27 thousand children at elementary schools. However, there’s quite a lot of those whose talents will remain well hidden, which is what clubs for gifted children, run by a number of elementary schools in #brnoregion and often established in cooperation with Mensa for children, try to prevent. In afterschool clubs, children do quizzes, riddles, and ciphers or play board games, discover attractive places, and meet with some extraordinary people.

However, there are schools that even work with gifted pre-school children, such as the Zvídálek club, opened at Křídlovická elementary school in cooperation with Mensa Czech Republic. These children are not even six years old and can already conduct various experiments, learn how to treat injuries, aren’t afraid of electricity, and manage to prepare simple snacks. In short, they are fully discovering the world around them and learning how to live in it.

Taking extra care of our gifted secondary school students

We are pleased to say that for young people excited about science, life in #brnoregion is good. And it’s mainly thanks to the South Moravian Centre for International Mobility (JCMM), which supports gifted students of secondary schools and universities, starting scientists, foreign students as well as teachers who work with talented youth. The Centre organizes quite a lot programs and events for them.

Whether they’re excited about biology or technologies, students get a lot of support from the Centre. And the most hard-working and skilful ones may even get a scholarship to further self-educate themselves as well as an opportunity to experience amazing moments with similarly talented friends. The “foundationers” can go canoeing down the Morava River, go backpacking across Poland, visit Chernobyl, try acro-yoga, go bird-watching or just relax at a picnic. Together.

The Centre also organizes various events for students outside the foundation community. During special educational trips, they may spend a day as doctors or botanists or in an IT company. They get chances to brew beer, produce cosmetics or get familiar with how fires and explosions work. Want to learn how to sign up right now?

Start up your research as early as secondary school

Of course, being a gifted student is not only about a high IQ (even though it’s certainly a good start). What’s important is the ability to get excited and work on yourself and your projects. Once you have that, then you can put it towards Students’ Professional Activities, a prestigious competition which opens doors to further studies as well as a career in science.

And this is where the Centre helps as well, supporting students of natural sciences or technologies by suggesting topics, recommending mentors, and even providing financial support. This way students gain access to various workplaces or tools and samples that ordinary secondary school students rarely even see.

Love for mathematics

For math enthusiasts, the Centre created an m-portal with a number of quality math materials to get ready for school as well as math after-school programs or even a math summer camp! Math isn’t boring at all, and the Polygram instructors show pupils and students how interesting it is in real life. Do the math and you’ll see that this definitely pays off.

Achievements of Czech secondary school students

Jan Obořil studies at a grammar school in Brno and recently placed eighth among 300 participants at an international Chemistry Olympiad. He’s also one of the gifted students from #brnoregion. What’s more, in the practical part of the competition all four Czech participants placed in the top ten and achieved above-average results in the theoretical part as well. In the rankings of individual countries, the Czech Republic placed fourth!

Supporting science as well as students’ spirit of enterprise

It is indeed excellent to support science and research, but we haven’t forgotten about those who don’t dream of spending their days doing research. JIC launched a project named Entrepreneurial Support to support young people’s desire to try new things, see how business is done, and acquire new skills such as team cooperation, which – unfortunately – isn’t something kids are usually taught at Czech schools.

At first sight, this may seem like an effort to teach children how to establish a company and do business. The main goal, however, is a bit different: to show students what doing business is about, awaken their desire to be active and self-sufficient, not to be afraid to push through their own ideas, and to try and discover new paths even while making mistakes along the way. Also, there are various workshops focusing on things like team cooperation and brainstorming, and often they are the very first opportunity for students to work with Lean Canvas.

Successful secondary school businessmen

During the project, the students designed the Eat Well app which you can use to scan food and learn about its ingredients, origin and allergens. Another successful student is Matouš Hýbl from the Kyjov grammar school, who started to produce components for his own robots at home and even produced a 3D printer for his school that is now used in IT classes.

When it comes to business, Jan Sláma and David Špunar are undoubtedly quite an inspiration for the young. Their project Don’t Let It Be (Nenech to být), which the Czech Ministry of Education assumed patronage of, uses an app of the same name through which pupils, students as well as parents can anonymously report cases of bullying. In its first two months alone, over 600 schools registered, which was one of the reasons why its authors launched the startup to spread the idea abroad.

We saw some bullying at the elementary school. We knew that something wrong was happening to our schoolmates, but we didn’t know how to help them. And it’s the silent majority we’d like to address,” explains David Špunar, one of the authors of the app.

Even though we may not discover all the gifted children and young people in #brnoregion, we do our best to create the best possible environment for them here.

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