The New NANO-year in Saint Petersburg

This weekend, the «NANOyear on the Aptekarski» science festival for schoolers and teachers took place in Saint Petersburg. This year, the organizers decided to focus on startups: for this, ITMO organized and interactive exhibition of the projects done at the University. The date for the festival was carefully chosen. «Nano» means one billionth: to get a nanometer, for instance, you multiply a meter by ten to the minus ninth. So, «ROSNANO School League» that works on popularizing science education in Russian schools has been organizing this festival on the 10th of September (10.09) for the last five years.

«According to new FSES, research and project activities are to be a mandatory part of the educational process for schoolers from the 1st to 9th Grade, but there is a total lack of necessary educational materials on Russian educational market. The „School League“ set the task to support extracurricular activities, we offer ready-to-use educational products — aids for teachers and children, cards, activity books, — shares Alexandr Selyanin, CEO of the „School League“. — NANOyear is kind of a baseline. This event is conducted to prove that our program is going to continue working with its partners — there are already more than 700 of them, that we still want to motivate children to study sciences that provide for the future of technology — physics, biology, chemistry».

The topic for NANOyear-2016 was startups: the event started with Alexei Shekoldin's (Head of ITMO's FabLab) lecture — he told the schoolers what such abbreviations as R&D, RIA and SIE mean, what «Business Model Canvas» is about and where to find a business angel. He also gave examples of commercialization of scientific activity — ITMO University organized an interactive mini-exhibition on the university's projects. The schoolers had the chance to immerse into the virtual reality of the videos by Video360Production team, to see the human body structure using the interactive atlas created at the eScience Research Institute and play computer games without even touching the computer — using a small USB-device that monitors hand movements with the Leap Motion technology.

«This year many asked us — why we've decided to focus on startups when we've always done pure science? Actually, we've always tried to convey the idea of the importance of technological entrepreneurship that ROSNANO develops in both business and educational fields. A technological entrepreneur is not some regular businessman who's focused on profits only. It is a person who uses business as a way to bring his ideas to life», — comments Alexander Selyanin.

We'd like to note that «School League» regularly conducts another event dedicated to the advancement of technological entrepreneurship — the «Week of High Technologies» during which schoolers visit high-tech industrial establishments, different informational centers and universities. The last «Week of High Technologies» took place in March, 2016.

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