Horoshevskaya School students visited Superheavy Element Factory

News, 11 April 2023

A group of students from the Moscow Horoshevskaya School visited the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. 38 engineering and biochemistry students of grades 8 – 11 went on a guided tour to the Superheavy Element Factory. The schoolchildren had a chance to meet with the world-famous scientist, Scientific Leader of the Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions JINR, RAS Academician Yuri Oganessian.

FLNR Scientific Secretary Alexander Karpov gave an introductory lecture on the history of the discovery of the elements of the Mendeleev’s Periodic Table and research of the laboratory. Yuri Oganessian spoke about the history of FLNR and its founder Academician Georgy Flerov, as well as the creation of the Superheavy Element Factory. The schoolchildren and their supervisors asked the outstanding scientist a lot of questions, e.g., how did he become a scientist, did he want to quit his job, does he have any students? How did the chemical element oganesson get its name? When to expect the synthesis of the next element, and who is at the forefront of this field? Why is everyone looking for the island of stability?

“Do not be afraid of the fast pace of life we are living in now. Go further and further. Do not be afraid of making a choice, it can always be corrected later, you just need to be brave. Knowledge gives you courage, and you need to gain it before it is too late. When you are adults, you will not have time for it,” Yuri Oganessian said addressing the younger generation.

The Horoshevskaya School is a private one. It was founded in 2013, and SberBank of Russia is its patron. In 2022, Yuri Oganessian became the winner of the Sber Scientific Prize, so the schoolchildren went to JINR to meet with him.

Horoshevskaya School (Moscow) students met with Academician Yuri Oganessian

Head of the STEM Education Department at the Horoshevskaya School, Honoured Teacher of Russia, nuclear physicist Sergey Lovyagin commented on the visit to JINR. «Such an opportunity is rare, so we grasped it tightly. Very few scientific organizations are open to schoolchildren, let alone such serious, advanced scientific organizations like JINR,” the teacher said. He noted that the school programme includes educational trips. For example, biology students visit the White Sea Biological Station and much more, but “physicists” have limited options for practical work. Sergey Lovyagin expressed the hope that, as far as possible, the Horoshevskaya School students will continue to “travel” to JINR laboratories in the future.

The participant of the trip, Horoshevskaya school chemistry teacher Boris Kachmazov noted that the students had a chance to view the subjects “Physics” and “Chemistry” from a different angle. “The children find it interesting to be here. These sciences became clearer to them as they learned how to apply knowledge in real life”.

In memory of the trip, schoolchildren and their supervisors received Mendeleev’s periodic tables signed by Yuri Tsolakovich as a gift. On their return home, students will complete an advanced level laboratory work “SHE Factory trip report”.