Over the years of existence of the national nuclear industry, ROSATOM host cities have built up a unique municipal basic education system. This was facilitated by high concentration of scientific elite engaged to build and operate nuclear facilities, high science intensity of productions which required corresponding staff training, and unique conditions of closed administrative territorial formations where general educational institutions networks have been created and developed. These education systems traditionally set up high standard that is confirmed by dazzling success of pupils in all-Russia schoolchildren knowledge challenges and entry of finalists to respected universities of the country. In the 1990-2000’s, in conditions of reforming the Russian educational system, a fresh impetus was needed to preserve and multiply accumulated traditions.
The Project “ROSATOM School” is a wide initiative of ROSATOM aimed at developing educational systems in host cities. The Project has gone on since 2011. Today its participants are 21 cities, more than 240 schools where over 130,000 schoolchildren are studying. The participating regions are Voronezh Region, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Kursk Region, Leningrad Region, Murmansk Region, Nizhniy Novgorod Region, Penza Region, Rostov Region, Saratov Region, Sverdlovsk Region, Smolensk Region, Tomsk Region, Ulyanovsk Region, Chelyabinsk Region and Chukotka AD.
The “ROSATOM School” began as a set of measures to render tailored financial and instructional support to a number of high-level educational establishments especially in mathematical and physical sphere. Since 2015, the goal of the project is the creation of innovative educational infrastructure, a network laboratory of a kind, for providing modern affordable high-quality education to children residing in the territory of the cities that participate in the project. By 2017, this goal was achieved to a great degree owing to the systemic work to implement modern domestic pedagogical technologies with foreign experience being taken into account. The achievement of the next goal of the project is planned for 2025. This is to build innovative high-efficiency cluster in the sphere of general and additional education which will allow getting high-quality education to children residing in the territories of the cities.
Now the network includes 14 educational establishments from nine cities which are the project participants: eight kindergartens and six schools in the European part of Russia, in the Urals and Siberia. The network participants will get funding for modern interactive high-technology free space (for schools not less than 150 sq.m. and for kindergartens not less than 80 sq.m.). Total amount of financing for schools is RUB 12 million (annually RUB 2 million from the funds of ROSATOM School and the budget of the municipality each during three years) and for kindergartens it will be RUB 6 million (annually RUB 1 million from the funds of ROSATOM School and the budget of the municipality each during three years). In parallel, three representatives of each establishment annually do internship in the best national and foreign educational institutions.
Today, the “ROSATOM School” covers several categories of participants: children (preschoolers and schoolers), employees of educational institutions, municipal education executives as well as residents of the cities which participate in the project. “Each year over 3,000 schoolchildren participate in events for gifted children, more than 500 teachers – in the project contests, more than 30,000 townsfolk – in remote stages of the project contest program for teachers and children by supporting the contestants and voting for the best results,” Natalia Shurochkova, “ROSATOM School” Project Leader, recites. “It is worthy of special mention that 300 teachers and executives do their internship in the best educational institutions of Russia and abroad,” she said.
The “ROSATOM School” is also a network of ‘atomclasses’, i.e. special industry-related classes in the best school of the city, which participates in the project, where children receive all conditions (monetary, staff and environ) for a higher level of education in mathematics and physics as well as in-depth learning of nuclear physics. Today, atomclasses successfully function in 26 cities of 19 Russian Federal Subjects. The atomclass and competence centers (functioning in the framework of the Project “ROSATOM School”) standard has already been developed and will be implemented until 2024. The network will be broadened: by 2024, each city which participates in the project should have at least one atomclass or technopark.
Each year, in the framework of the Project “ROSATOM School”, the hard work is carried out to create favorable conditions for emergence, identification and support of the “points of increase” in educational systems of the cities which are the project participants. The main principle of the project implementation is consistency and proactive work. Today, the project includes five annual professional contests for teachers, managers and teams of kindergartens and schools. Winners of these contests do internships in the best educational institutions of Russia and abroad (in the Netherlands, the Great Britain, Austria, Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Japan). Then, in their educational institutions, they carry out internships for their colleagues from all cities which are the project participants where they share experience and give probationers the opportunity to master modern techniques of organizing and implementing the educational process which brings high educational results to children.
In the framework of the area “International Smart Holydays with the ROSATOM School” the work is continuously carried out to broaden cultural relations between Russian and foreign schoolchildren. Since 2016, about 1,000 kids from 25 countries have taken part in nine “International Smart Holydays with the ROSATOM School” in Russia, Indonesia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, Thailand and Turkey. Besides, the regular work is carried out on international partner projects with foreign schools. For example, in 2017-2018 schoolchildren from Russia and Finland implemented the international project “Educational Tourism”. In this project 10 schoolchildren from Sarov visited Pyhäjoki and schoolchildren from Pyhäjoki visited Sarov. Cultural and educational programs for each other were prepared by children themselves.
Annually, 150 schoolchildren attend industry-related sessions for gifted children from ROSATOM’s cities in the children recreation centers ‘Orleonok’, ‘Artek’ and ‘Okean’. More than 1,000 gifted children each year visit nuclear host cities. “We want our schoolchildren to be all-rounded both in humanitarian subjects and physics and mathematics,” Natalia Shurochkova says. “We strive to develop their talents. We support theater and dance studios, young journalists and programmers schools, engineering and technical clubs, advance qualification of kindergarten and school teachers,” she says.
In the “ROSATOM School” there are three main areas. The first one is to broaden the pool of the cities which are the project participants up to 25 (it is expected that it will be supplemented with Glazov, Obninsk, Elektrostal and Kovrov). The second is to develop the technologies and infrastructure of additional education of children, including in interaction with ROSATOM’s companies. According to estimates, the project will cover more than 100 additional education organizations, 2,000 employees of these organizations as well as over 2,000 additional education teachers who work in schools and kindergartens of the cities which are the project participants. The third is to support technologies of special education in the cities which are the project participants.