Involve children in scientific inquiry

News, 23 September 2022

On 23 September, Director of the Specialised Educational Scientific Centre on Physics and Mathematics of Novosibirsk State University (SESC NSU) Liudmila Nekrasova made a fact-finding visit to the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. Liudmila Nekrasova took a tour to the site of the NICA accelerator complex, visited the Physics and Mathematics Lyceum named after V. G. Kadyshevsky and the exhibition “JINR Basic Facilities” at the Cultural Centre “Mir”.

Exchange of pedagogical and management experience took place in a conversation with Director of the Lyceum Yuri Kurlapov. The main topics were traditional and innovative forms of education, school self-governance, student motivation, personnel issues, and parental involvement in the educational process. The parties discussed the possibilities for future academic exchanges, one of which was the Dubna Summer School. “The main thing is to involve children in scientific inquiry,” Yuri Kurlapov said, who outlined the general aim of the cooperation.

SESC NSU is a specialised education and research centre in Novosibirsk Akademgorodok, educating 9-11 school students. Each year the school graduates 11 classes. University professors give lectures at school according to the university system. The proportion of staff members who are graduates of the SESC at the INP SB RAS (Novosibirsk) is about 15%.

Liudmila Nekrasova said that SESC NSU has rich experience in research activities. The school runs workshops and works with gifted children according to the university system, which allows them to adapt faster in a science-based educational environment. “We are involved in teaching pupils to enter science early, and we have great potential here for cooperation with JINR. Half of our graduates stay in Novosibirsk, and half leave for other regions, including the central ones. We train competitive graduates who enter the best Russian universities,” she said.

The outcome of the meeting was a preliminary agreement on a one-week visit to Dubna by pupils from SESC NSU. Students from the Novosibirsk School on Pphysics and Mathematics will participate in laboratory workshops at the JINR University Centre and will see the Institute’s basic facilities. It was suggested that biology teachers from the Kadyshevsky Lyceum should be sent to SESC for an internship.

Director of UC JINR Stanislav Pakuliak commented on Ludmila Nekrasova’s visit. “We have a serious platform of specialised nuclear physics programmes for pupils created by Yuri Panebratsev’s group. It is important to deliver information about physics to such students, because motivated children from all over Siberia attend this boarding school. We are ready to participate in the implementation of joint programmes with SESC NSU, involving children in modern science,” he said.

Mayor of Dubna Sergey Kulikov and the Deputy Head of Dubna on Education and Culture Nikolay Madfes attended the meeting with the Director of SESC NSU. JINR Director Academician Grigory Trubnikov, Director Advisor for International Cooperation Irek Suleymanov, Director of UC JINR Stanislav Pakuliak, Deputy Director of the UC Alexander Verkheev, Head of the JINR Social Infrastructure Management Office and Chairman of the Dubna Council of Deputies Andrey Tamonov, DLNP senior researcher and Deputy of the Dubna City Council Mark Shirchenko participated in the meeting on behalf of the Joint Institute.