“THE YOUNG SCIENTIST PROJECT 2″
MAY, 2021 TO MAY, 2022
Vratsa, Montana, and Pernik, Bulgaria
The Young Scientist Project is a children’s grass-root project run and implemented by Vox Tua, a nonprofit association passionate to engage, educate and empower children and the youth. The project is fully funded by the Embassy of the United States – Sofia. This project will focus on providing a range of interactive and fun activities to children in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade with the purpose to fuel and stimulate their curiosity and appreciation for careers in science.
The participants in the project will be students from 1st, 2nd, 3rd ,and 4th grade from seven schools from the following cities/villages: Pavlikeni, Sliven, Batak, Byala Cherkva, and Vurbovka. The project will reach a total of 800 students.
The project aims to inspire children from an early age to develop a passion for careers in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Through experiment-base courses, research kits and YouTube videos, the project seeks to motivate children to science and to develop skills in making observations, creating scientific reports and evaluating results for the implementation of innovative solutions: basic and necessary elements of a healthy professional development.
We have chosen to partner with six schools. Three schools are from the municipality of Vratsa, two schools from Montana, and one school from Pernik. The six schools participating in the project are:
- SU “Vasil Kunchov”, Vratsa
NU “Ivan Vazov”, Vratsa
OU “Sv. sv. Kiril and Metodii”, Vratsa
3rd OU “Dr. Peter Beron”, Montana
2nd SU “Nikola Vaptsarov”, Montana
10th OU “Aleko Konstantinov”, Pernik
The Team Running the Project
The two-people leading the project are Luis Lomeli, director of Vox Tua, and students from Sofia High School of Mathematics as Project Managers. Luis has more than 15 years of experience in education and youth development around the world. As a volunteer for 2.5 years in the Peace Corps, he has developed a passion for running projects that aim to inspire children and young people to reach their full potential and to have a positive impact on their community. The students from Sofia High School of Mathematics are from 11th and 12th grade and have multiple honors in sciences and humanities as well as extensive experience in education and educational activities.
Structure of the Project
1. The Project Managers will lead two-school-hour experiment-base- courses in each class.
2. At the end of the course, each student will receive a scientific kit that can be taken home, with complete instructions for performing the experiments inside it. This will create a wonderful opportunity for parents to participate in their child’s learning development. Each student will have the materials for the implementation of three different experiments created by the project’s team.
3. To stimulate a sustainable learning development of the participants, Vox Tua will create 10-15 original videos on You Tube with new experiment ideas that children (and their parents) will be able to implement at home with limited cost and resources. All videos will be available free of charge. Full instructions on the experiments will be available for free download from the Vox Tua website.
Detailed Information About the Three Activities of the Project
“The Young Scientist Project” 2 has the goal of inspiring kids from middle school to develop and expand their interest in the various subjects of science.
1. The first activity, which the project provides, consists of interactive experiment-based courses that take place during two school hours, led by the Project Managers. The kids will engage in the activities with supplied materials, while in the process learning simplified concepts and terminology, directly correlated with the demonstration. The three experiments are:
- “Iodine Clock” (Chemistry) – The children will be introduced to simple chemistry concepts in a fun way. When mixing the two solutions, several reactions take place and therefore it takes time to change the color of the new solution. The change of colour is a sign of the chemical reactions taking place.
- “Fruit Prints” (Biology) – Vitamin C plays an important role in the development of our organism. Through this experiment, students will learn about its basic properties through one of its most beautiful and easily noticeable chemical reactions – color change. The used materials are easily accessible, which in turn allows for the experiment to be replicated at home.
- “Colored Tower” (Physics) – The kids will create a colorful tower by stacking vertically liquids with different densities in decreasing order. The experiment is a fun and attractive way to learn fundamental principles and physics concepts, such as density and Archimedes’ principle. The activity is based on simplified elements of the scientific method – hypothesis, observation and analysis.
2. The second part of the project consists of giving the kids scientific kits, designed and created by Vox Tua, which provide 3 additional experiments. In addition to all necessary materials there will be thorough and expansive manuals for the activity with educational information. The kits provide a perfect opportunity to engage the parents and to create a fun learning environment at home – the three experiments are:
- “Catapult” (Physics) – Thanks to the catapult, which you will build yourself, you will have the opportunity to learn interesting physical concepts and facts while having fun with it. Finally, you will may use the included marbles and test your creation as well as experiment with it.
- “Borax Crystals” (Chemistry) – This experiment is designed to introduce you to simple concepts in chemistry in a fun way. In this case, you will explore the factors that affect the solution and observe how substances crystallize, resulting in interesting colored crystals.
- “Slime” (Chemistry) – Every second there are many different reactions happening around the world. An example of such a reaction is making a slam. With this experiment, you will learn more about the nature of the natural science called chemistry, which deals with these small yet crucial processes in our lives.
3. The third and final part of the project is the creation from scratch of 10 YouTube Videos. This is the sustainability part of the project that will provide important resources to the children and parents to continue building on the knowledge they acquired on the first two activities of the project. Vox Tua will create each video with a demonstration of a fun and educational science experiment that the participants and their parents can do from home with very limited resources. The videos will be engaging and easy to follow. Vox Tua believes that learning is constant action and does not required money but instead the wiliness to learn and drive to be the best version of oneself.