American scientists conduct entertaining online lessons for Ukrainian orphans - ForumDaily
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American scientists conduct entertaining online lessons for Ukrainian orphans

Since the beginning of the war, dozens of orphanages have left the combat zone in Ukraine. Hundreds of orphans found themselves displaced, either in their own country or abroad. Children are sorely lacking in attention. A group of American scientists, immigrants from post-Soviet countries, came up with a way to solve this problem, reports “Voice of America«.

Photo: IStock

American scientists conduct entertaining online science lessons for children and open up the world of physics, astronomy and mathematics for them.

They arrange virtual tours of laboratories for Ukrainian children: refugees and orphans, orphans.

Astrophysicist and former astronaut instructor Yulia Brodskaya explains how she and her colleagues came up with the idea.

“When the war started, naturally, the first few weeks were an absolute shock, but then we imagined what was happening to the children, what was happening to the parents, how important it was for them to have some sense of normalcy: some kind of normal schedule, normal structure,” says she.

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Hundreds of children from dozens of orphanages turned out to be migrants both in Ukraine itself and abroad. There are many children, and the staff is catastrophically small. There is hardly enough time and energy for the most necessary things.

The former entrepreneur Galina Bondaruk, who after the war left her grain business and began to take care of children, has almost a thousand wards. Her foundation “Little Peremogi” helps orphans who were brought to Lviv from different Ukrainian cities.

“No one is taking care of these children. Fortunately, they have now gone to school. They are at school until lunchtime and they have to do their homework. All summer they were like street children. The staff who work at the locations only feed the children and put them to bed,” says the founder of the foundation.

Yulia Brodskaya and her colleagues called out, using all their knowledge and contacts of teachers, scientists, psychologists - above all, those who can talk about science in an interesting and not boring way. The task was to captivate the children and relieve the staff at least a little.

“I taught a course called “Replicating Scientific Discoveries with Homemade Methods,” where we pretended that we were time traveling into the past and trying to replicate scientific discoveries using the tools that were available in the past. It’s difficult to call this some kind of normal standard school course, but you can pack various interesting things into it,” said Alexander Kaurov, co-founder of the EARTYLINGS HUB project.

“Let's say we're talking about a microwave oven and what happens if you put grapes in it and turn it on. In this case, plasma will be obtained. Then after that we can discuss what plasma is,” he says.

They also launched the “Ask a Scientist” program - every day at a certain time, two scientists on duty are waiting for the most curious, who are ready to answer any questions. There is no end to those who want to teach; teachers from different countries have already joined the project, and children have a chance to become closer to their dreams.

“A 13-year-old boy came and said: “Teach me geometry and physics as soon as possible.” I want to grow up and become an architect, I will restore the destroyed Ukraine. In addition, we invite him to different classes, we found an architecture student who works with him and tells him about architecture,” says Yulia Brodskaya.

Galina Furdyga, headmaster of Chernivtsi Secondary School No. XNUMX, which also became a camp for IDPs, says the project is “just a godsend for both children and adults.”

“This is a completely different approach to teaching mathematics than in our school. Also problematic, but different. This is very interesting, including for our teachers. They join in the classes, and then they will take something for our school,” says Galina.

And online lessons are the only opportunity for teachers and educators to take a break.

The wards of Irina Shramko, a teacher at a boarding school from the city of Gulyai Pole, left Ukraine immediately after the outbreak of hostilities for Poland. There are 106 teachers for 4 children.

“For 45 minutes, when you bring your child to an online lesson, you have time to relax a little - both physically and mentally. We are always with our children, even if we bring them to classes with American teachers. We are responsible for their life and health, but at this time we can go out to get some air, sit in silence, and get distracted. It’s much easier,” says Irina.

For now, technology remains the biggest problem. Thanks to the help of sponsors, about 300 laptops were sent to children in Poland, and much more is needed in Lviv.

The founders of the project say they would like to make it not temporary, but permanent. These programs can continue after the war and help children discover the world and dream.

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“I would like to hope that they are demystifying the scientist profession. Because there is such an opinion in the consciousness of society that scientists are people who have been knocked down on their heads, incomprehensible and with incomprehensible life values. And if you put them in front of a fairly young scientist, they can understand that there is not much difference between scientists and other people,” says Alexander.

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