Every kid deserves science

by Muzeiko Foundation
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science
Every kid deserves science

Dear friends,

As we turn the calendar to a new year, hoping that 2021 will bring more predictability in our plans, we would like to thank you for supporting us throughout these turbulent times.

To Muzeiko, 2020 was a year of uncertainties, challenging us to seek resourceful and fun ways to remain in touch with our audiences.

We started it with more than 1,000 reservations for groups of children from low-income families and social care facilities. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened and closed our museum for months. Even after the restrictive measures were loosened, school field trips were banned for an indefinite period. Thereby, our end-year account for the GlobalGiving donations shows that we have provided on-site learning experience to only 50 kids. These were children with refugee and minority background, deprived of family care, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, two of whom participated in our summer academy to have - as they called it - “the coolest vacation ever”.

Despite all our efforts to provide access to science and play during the period of lockdown, such as Muzeiko@Home online program, research and practitioners unequivocally testified that online learning severely deepens educational inequalities. And the problem is not in the lack of electronic devices or internet bills! In our strive to address the situation and engage children, we launched a “hybrid” online-offline product called “Muzeiko in a Box”. It comprises an educational video with guidelines for a hands-on project, as well as a kit with the required materials and tools that is couriered to the little learner. The Christmas edition explores the history of the Christmas tree tradition and its meaning today, teaches children to tell pine, spruce and fir trees apart and to consider environment aspects of our choices. It further explains electrical concepts and circuits, thanks to which children end up making a glowing greetings card on their own.

And that is how this year, in the grips of the global pandemic, you helped us deliver joy, science, technology and art to a record-high number of children! As many as 1,120 Christmas boxes traveled in the first half of December to reach primary students from 21 schools and social care facilities nationwide. Confined to their homes due to the second lockdown in the country, they were pleasantly surprised and we received many thank-you emails from their teachers and social care workers.

Since 2017, when we launched the GlobalGiving fundraiser, we have never managed to reach so many children in one year! It was you who crowdfunded this amazing achievement. So many children’s minds and hearts were touched as a result of our joint efforts.

The positive news do not end here. Muzeiko's team used its own resources to produce and deliver 200 Christmas boxes to the children of the doctors from the COVID-19 unit of Bulgaria’s biggest emergency hospital Pirogov. We truly hope that these gifts will evoke a festive mood in the families of the front-line workers.  

We have achieved so much together! But our journey along the long and bumpy road to ensuring equity, quality and life-relevance in education has not ended.

Thank you for being part of this incredible journey!

On the eve of Christmas and the New Year, we are wishing you a healthy and fulfilling 2021. We are looking forward to a time to reconnect in both “old-fashioned” and new digital ways with our audiences and each other.

With gratitude and warmth,

Muzeiko’s team

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H2O molecule is fun!
H2O molecule is fun!

Dear friends and supporters,

Facing the second peak of COVID-19 in Bulgaria and other countries around the world, we are working devotedly to ensure the safety of our visitors, colleagues and their loved ones, and to find new ways of staying in touch with the reason of our being – children and families.

Since August 2020, we have hosted only two visits within the “Every kid deserves science” program:

  • a guided tour with ceramic workshop and mud garden fun for 26 children from 2 residential centers for alternative care in Sofia; and
  • a play-day with a sciencelab workshop and a Halloween art atelier for a group of 8 kids and 4 mothers from an emergency shelter for victims of violence.

As schools and social services are canceling their field trips and extracurricular activities, and are denying access for external educators, we sought for solutions to provide remote access to our programs, which are traditionally implemented in an on-site format. We at Muzeiko have always tried to encourage hands-on activities and multisensory approaches to learning, and switching to entirely “2-D screen mode” was not a desired alternative. That is how we came up with the “Muzeiko in a Box” product, which combines digital and “analogue” methods:

  • streaming video content in the areas of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) for children aged 6-12 that includes science demonstrations, science-based fairy tales, etc. and step-by-step guidelines for DIY activities to be carried out by the kids in a classroom or at home;
  • sending individual kits (boxes), containing the required materials for the practical tasks of the learners.

The first two “Boxes” are ready and the videos are being edited. Muzeiko’s team is very much looking forward to launching this product and remaining in touch with our young audience!

Constantly seeking ways to upskill and upgrade in the area of early childhood development and education, we applied for membership with the expert network of International Step by Step Association and enrolled in the forthcoming learning activities on creating inclusive environments and practices.

We are aware that we would not have achieved this without your support and have a lot more in store for the future. Words can never convey our true gratitude to you, our donors, who are making this experience for our disadvantaged kids possible.

Stay well and thank you for supporting us!

Muzeiko’s team

Experiment Lab for the Crisis Center Residents
Experiment Lab for the Crisis Center Residents
Magic or Science?
Magic or Science?
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Dear friends and supporters,

Learning to live in a weird situation, coping with our fears and anxiety, we would like to thank you for staying with us and continuing your support.

A long time will pass before Muzeiko would be able to resume its normal pace of work and reach the footfall prior to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, we feel optimistic about the future and would like to share a few positive summer stories enabled by your generosity.

  • Participation of two girls in Muzeiko’s Summer Academy

M., aged 8, was abandoned by her mother at a very young age. She became a shy, insecure and solitary child. Her social withdrawal and emotional problems resulted into developmental delays that aggravated after the father went to work abroad and left M. in the care of her aunt. Due to speech problems and learning difficulties, the girl was admitted to a social program, giving her access to the services of a speech therapist and psychologist. The progress achieved throughout the first term of the school year, started waning during the pandemic lockdown, as distant learning was difficult for M. and she felt tired, demotivated and melancholic.  

The family cannot afford a summer school or costly extracurricular activities and they were very happy to find out that M. could attend Muzeiko’s Summer Academy thanks to your help. The girl shared with her aunt that this had been one of the most emotional and significant summer vacation experiences. She loved everything about Muzeiko: the exhibits, the workshops, the science stories, the climbing wall, the children whom she played with, the Makerspace where she made her first animations…

-----

The 8-year-old H. does not know her biological father and has been having attention deficit & hyperactivity problems, and exhibits symptoms of dyslexia and dysgraphia. She is sociable and curious, but has difficulty concentrating and a hard time retaining information. H. has no friends at school and the other children tend to avoid her. She often feels anxious and lonely.

H. attended Muzeiko’s Summer Academy with readiness and enthusiasm, completing the full two-week course. She was extremely active in all games and tasks, asking questions and participating in every activity. The problems reported by mental health professionals and teachers did not prevent her from collaborating with the other children and pursuing all her projects. Although she purportedly had difficulties in establishing fruitful relationships with peers, H. was well accepted by the group and found friends in games and assignments.

  • A group of 10 children from the humanitarian program of the Council of refugee women in Bulgaria enjoyed Muzeiko’s exhibits and brain challenges, and left with a lot of ideas for fun science pursuits. 
  • Muzeiko has added 2 new interdisciplinary lesson kits linked with the educational content for primary age children to its free-access platform for teachers MyMuzeiko.
  • Moved by a recent technology-assisted research showing that there are many people with Autism Spectrum Disorders who do not leave the perimeter of 200 meters from their homes, next on our agenda is to develop and conduct autism-friendly initiatives for children. We’ll keep you posted!

Wishing you an unforgettably joyful summer,

Muzeiko’s team

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Dear friends and supporters,

We really hope and pray that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe!

In less than a month, our lives were upset by the global COVID-19 pandemic that came so shockingly unprecedented by its scale and impact… Hectic schedules, meticulously organized routines and well-laid strategic plans were swept away, leaving people, businesses and countries in turmoil of uncertainty and fear.

In this situation, we are not going to present you yet another positive progress report pointing out the number of children who participated in our programs thanks to your generous donations. We just have no activities to communicate… There have been two “flu vacations” and an emergency Coronavirus situation declared since our last letter to you.

Muzeiko has been closed for visitors since March 9th. Currently, members of our team live stream from the “childless” Muzeiko science and art shows on Facebook every afternoon (Mon – Fri). The new temporary exhibition with live reptiles and insects can be seen only online.

However, we still would like to reach out to you to report the good news of hope.

  1. There have been a number of donations for our cause to provide access to science for every child since the COVID-19 lockdown. And we want to THANK YOU for your continuing support! It is even more valuable, because we can realize that many people and organizations, such as Muzeiko, are struggling to survive, with no possibility to generate revenues.
  2. The new situation presented  inexorable evidence of the importance of health literacy and science progress. We live in an interconnected and interdependent world and everyone’s choices and behaviors matter. That is why our societies cannot afford to leave anyone behind. The urgent challenges we face, require people with education and competences to apply learning to real-life problems and create effective solutions.
  3. The current experience of dramatic loss of our comfortable lifestyles and modus operandi made us rethink our values and priorities, and appreciate what we have… It is a powerful lesson of solidarity, testing the humanity of hearts and minds. We cannot change the past, but we can work together for a better future.

Let’s walk out of this stronger, wiser and more caring for each other!

With love and warmth,

Muzeiko’s team

Muzeiko@Home: The superpowers of soap...
Muzeiko@Home: The superpowers of soap...
Muzeiko@Home: The secrets of trees...
Muzeiko@Home: The secrets of trees...
Muzeiko@Home: How rocks are formed...
Muzeiko@Home: How rocks are formed...
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Find the right food for each beak shape
Find the right food for each beak shape

Dear friends and supporters,

At the threshold of the New Year, with eyes looking to the future in the hope of more peace and security, we are sending you our sincere thanks for your support throughout the year.

With your help, in 2019 we reached a total of 224 children from across Bulgaria (Belogradchik, Montana, Vratsa, Vidin, Brestnitsa, Sofia) – coming from schools, social care homes and outreach services. Thanks to you, some of them could see a planetarium show and participate in science workshops to learn more about stars, constellations, planets, meteors and asteroids. Others had the opportunity to walk in the shoes of ornithologists and investigate (through experiments, observations of pictures and logical associations) the connection between birds’ beaks and legs and their food and habitats.

A number of the little visitors enjoyed Muzeiko’s Christmas science workshops inspired by Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer where they found out more about reindeer, such as: why the colour of their nose is red, what causes the change of their eyes’ colour during winter and summer, how they survive in the freezing cold of the Pole…

And we already have approved the applications of another 660 kids who would visit our science museum in the period February-April 2020.

The GlobalGiving programme is gaining popularity with schools and social services and we are flowing with inspiration and ideas for more devoted and sustainable work towards improving quality and inclusiveness in education. Latest European Commission’s monitoring report for Bulgaria showed a persevering trend that socioeconomic disadvantage is still a key determinant of poor skills and low educational outcomes.

It would not be an easy task, but we are determined to be among those who would contribute to changing this alarming tendency. It is knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes that enables people to approach problems and issues in an unbiased perspective, to make informed decisions, participate fully in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.

We hope that you will remain our allies in these pursuits.

“The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things.“ (Jean Piaget)

With warmest wishes for a fantastic year ahead,

Muzeiko’s team

Show me your legs, I will know where you live!
Show me your legs, I will know where you live!
Make your own bird!
Make your own bird!
Are your star maps accurate? Let's Puzzle!
Are your star maps accurate? Let's Puzzle!
Make your own constellation!
Make your own constellation!
Visit of a group from a refugee and migrant centre
Visit of a group from a refugee and migrant centre
Adolescents from a social care home
Adolescents from a social care home
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Organization Information

Muzeiko Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Albena Koleva
Sofia, Bulgaria
$16,416 raised of $30,000 goal
 
188 donations
$13,584 to go
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