Project for high school pupils is summarized at the Aquarium

Project for high school pupils is summarized at the Aquarium

On February 5, the Primorsky Aquarium’s conference hall hosted a research and practice conference, which summed up the collaborative project “Research and Project Ideas Lab”.

The project idea was developed by staff members of the Environmental Education Service at the Primorsky Aquarium — Branch of the NSCMB FEB RAS. To successfully implement the initiative, a group of 11 partner organizations was formed. Each partner offered its case study or several case studies addressing challenges in science, wildlife protection, culture and education activities in the Russian Far East. A total of 14 case studies were prepared for pupils.

More than 200 school children and educators from 18 cities, towns and villages across Primorsky Kray participated in the project. The monthslong work has resulted in 18 remarkable community and research projects and business plans that have both scientific research value and practical relevance.

 “My classmate Aleksey Altukhov and I have designed a project to create an environmental trail on the grounds of our school,” said Andrey Holyanov, an eighth grader from the N. N. Dubinin Boarding School for Gifted Children. “We have quite a variety of plants near the boarding school, with 64 species of shrubs and trees growing there. The project introduced me to a great deal of flora in my home area. We are planning to go on with the project and to set up a website which people will be redirected to after scanning QR codes to see short descriptions of plants with tips on their identification. Project activities are extremely engrossing, they let you develop your mentality and improve your understanding of things happening around us.”

Three ninth graders from the Novogeorgievka village school, Varvara Zachinyaeva, Elizaveta Lukyanova and Vladislava Shchukina, carried out a community project called “Online exhibit, “Freshwater species of the Razdolnaya River in the Oktyabrsky District of Primorsky Kray”. Before starting their project, the girls held an opinion poll and found out that local residents knew almost nothing about the river running through their village and the fish species inhabiting it.

“Even fishermen do not know all the fishes they catch but these species may include rare and protected ones,” said Elizaveta Lukyanova.  “We thought that it was very important to explain people how rich the Razdolnaya River actually was, and made an online guide where they could find any of the fish species living in the river in the territory of our district. The data we collected are publicly available: the guide is placed on our school's website and on the website of the Oktyabrsky District.”

The collaborative project “Research and Project Ideas Lab” aims to inspire school children to engage in scientific research, to become familiar with knowledge-intensive technologies and to enthusiastically deliver community and business projects.

“This is a multisided positive educational story related to real scientific research,” said Alexander Sergievich, Rector at the Primorsky Regional Institute of Education Development.  “The future of science begins at school; such projects help us to spot young researchers. In my school days, I could only dream of things like that, and it was only at university that I got a chance to take on real science work.”