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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 supporters and friends,

Immersed in the ups and downs of the new school year, which in Bulgaria started on September 16th, we would like to take stock of our recent achievements and undertakings. Last month Muzeiko – America for Bulgaria Children’s Museum celebrated its fourth birthday and, along with the cheers, it was a time for reflection and renewed resolutions.

Achieving greater equity in education is not only a social-justice imperative. It is also a way to use resources more efficiently, and to increase the supply of knowledge and skills that fuel economic growth and promote social cohesion”, Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, wrote in one of his 2018-year publications. Unarguably, the statement is valid all over the world, however, to Bulgaria, as one of the European Union Member States with the highest dependency between student results and their origin, it needs to motivate urgent actions.

As you know, Muzeiko Foundation recently embarked on a new challenge to engage deeper around issues of social and cultural inclusion, with the intention of creating a safe and necessary place for children of diverse backgrounds.

On August 28th, we welcomed a group of 9 children from the Centre for social rehabilitation and integration managed by CONCORDIA Foundation. It is located in the infamous Sofia suburb of Zaharna Fabrika (Sugar factory), known for its vast gypsy neighbourhood. Despite its relatively small size, it was actually quite a difficult “cohort” to manage, as the kids were aged from 5 to 14, with mixed abilities and interests, very active, one of them was with emotional problems and autism. There was a 14-year-old girl who, according to the social worker, could not read nor write, she had dropped out of school years ago and CONCORDIA staff were working hard to trace her education history and last grade-completion certificate, so that she could go back in the system. She and another teenage girl, although impressed by the fancy ambiance of Muzeiko Science Centre, initially demonstrated no interest in the activities. They kept on tampering with their phones, making selfies and staring in the screens.

It required the passion and assertion of Muzeiko’s educator to manage the group, to win their attention and make them listen while playing and running around. It was evident that the children had rarely (if ever) been exposed to enquiry-based teaching approach and the role of little explorers that they were put in was new to them.

The visit was a test for the patience, professionalism and creativity of our staff. But towards the end of the experience, when all the group was made to sit down and recapitulate the key findings of their science adventure, and we saw the gleam of interest in the eyes of some of the kids (particularly the young ones), we knew that it was worth the efforts. Even the teenage girls – who tended to stray away from the science talks, were furtively listening to the educator, and finally felt relaxed, because we offered them a safe learning environment, free from judgement, prejudice, without punishment or stigma for wrong answers.

On September 5th, Muzeiko hosted a visit for another 8 children from a residential social service in Bozhurishte district, situated on the outskirts of Sofia. Unlike the previous group, they were motivated and disciplined – as a result of the hard work of their educators, social workers and carers, and were eager to see and do as many things as possible in the museum. One of the things that impressed them most was the Maker Space studio where they had the opportunity to learn the basics of computer animation – thus equipping themselves with a new life skill.

We would stop our narrative here, as we would like to express our gratitude for your generosity, because without our donors, these “small wins” would not be possible.

It is your trust and support that push us one step further to unfold our full potential. There is a lot more still in the pipeline and with your help, we shall work hard to achieve our plans.

Yours sincerely,

Muzeiko team

Archaeology, Paleontology, Geology can be exciting
Archaeology, Paleontology, Geology can be exciting

Dear supporters and friends,

Almost three months have passed from our previous progress report and we wish to provide an update on the latest developments in our endeavors to invite traditionally deprived communities to participate in scientific enquiries and knowledge.

In the month of May, we hosted a visit of 78 second-graders from the depopulating town of Vidin in Northwestern Bulgaria. When asked what they liked most, an avalanche of answers ensued: earthquakes, space department, everything…. The teachers shared their plans to start project-based cycle integrating educational content from Physics, Astronomy, Math, addressing planets, solar system, galaxies, constellations, and the experience in Muzeiko would serve as inspiration. And the school would strive to find resources for more workshops in the children’s museum. However, once again, we had to acknowledge the bitter fact that there was a considerable gap between Sofia and the countryside in terms of learning opportunities and financial means.

Thereby, guided by the vision that education is to be empowering and inclusive for all, we launched a Muzeiko@School program aimed to reach out to children who cannot afford to visit Muzeiko and whose schools find it difficult to organize a field trip because of parents/guardians’ permission and bureaucratic formalities. This initiative also seeks to address children from social care services/ institutions who are deprived of parental care and/or socially and pedagogically neglected.

In these pursuits, we contacted CONCORDIA Foundation, which works with children aged 5-18 years and families from marginalized groups living in poverty, with mild mental and/ or physical disabilities, and those who have dropped out of the education system. We agreed to conduct a science show with a workshop in one of their centers, as well as to host a visit to Muzeiko for the children residing in another residential facility.

Hopefully, thanks to your good and generous hearts, our next project report will bring good news and share positive experience from our work with CONCORDIA’s children.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your donations and wish you sparkling summer mood with one of our favorite quotes from the Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman:

“Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”

Muzeiko team

Walking in the shoes of ancient people
Walking in the shoes of ancient people
Exploring the challenges of urbanization
Exploring the challenges of urbanization
Who says that construction is not for girls...
Who says that construction is not for girls...
Science is not scary any longer! It can be fun!
Science is not scary any longer! It can be fun!

Dear supporters,

Looking back with gratitude on the past four months, we would like to let you know how much we appreciate all the amazing things you made happen until now.

That is why we put together this gallery of successful stories to share our fulfillment and thankfulness for your generosity and trust.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world” – the Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai said. “And a little lure to ignite a lifetime passion for learning”, we would add.

Your philanthropic support is bringing to life our shared aspirations to make education attractive and accessible to all.

Your generous donations made you a powerful ally of our mission to remove the invisible barriers of science by reaching out to the most underprivileged groups of children in Bulgaria. Thanks to you, more than 230 pupils from European Union’s poorest region of Northwestern Bulgaria (towns and villages from the districts of Vidin, Montana, Vratsa, Lovech) were able to travel to Sofia and experience our educational programs during the first four months of this year. Little can words convey the amazement in their eyes at their first encounter with MUZEIKO – a place where they are allowed to touch, explore and play with all exhibits, and are welcome to ask questions in a friendly and emotionally safe environment.

Having perceived science as an undefeatable stronghold of elderly wise people, surrounded by thick books in dark laboratories, they gradually opened up their minds and hearts to a new perspective of knowledge and life.

We hope to be able to sparkle the passion for learning of many more children. And it is you who can help us in these pursuits!

Thank you for your trust and generosity!

Muzeiko team

Science gives a sense of perspective!
Science gives a sense of perspective!

Dear supporters, 


Thanks to your generosity in 2019 we hope to be able to continue welcoming kids from low-income families and poor regions to Muzeiko. For the last two months of 2018, 160 kids from small villages close to Vratsa and Vidin attended our educational programs, met our young scientists and played with our unique hands-on exhibits.

Do you know that some of these kids have never before gone outside the town they live in? And thanks to your support they could see a completely new world!

This year we expect more children to have the chance to experience the magic of science. We believe you will continue to support us, and we will continue to give out science, love and passion for knowledge to all children. 

Thanks for your donations.

Muzeiko team

Kids from Vratsa arranging part of a Roman mosaic
Kids from Vratsa arranging part of a Roman mosaic

Dear friends and supporters,


We would like to wish you wonderful family holidays in the coming festive season!  We are extremely thankful for your support for our current project “Science for Every Kid”.  Since the beginning of the new school year in September another 160 children of four schools from poor regions of Bulgaria have been able to visit Muzeiko in Sofia free.

During the coming holidays families gather together to give - to give warmth, love, good memories, respect for each other. We would like to give you our gratitude for your invisible love and support.

We also want to use the opportunity to share with you our new project for Muzeiko’s travelling exhibit „Inventions“: “Science for Every Child.  MUZEIKO in Plovdiv “.

If you believe as we do, that every child should have the possibility to experience the wonders of science, to be curious, to explore new worlds, and to be engaged in meaningful STEM activities, please support our new project by donating on:  https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/science-for-every-child-muzeiko-in-plovdiv/ and spreading our project among your friends.

The "Inventions" travelling exhibit of Muzeiko brings the most important world-changing inventions close to every kid, teacher and parent to explore science and to believe that everyone can be an inventor. For the last two years the travelling exhibit has been in the distant town of Razgrad (visited by more than 6000 kids), and to the town of Gabrovo (visited by 30,000 people, of which 15,000 in organized school groups).

Moreover, Muzeiko gives the exhibit free and in addition, we train local people (helping local economy by hiring and training people) and transfer our knowledge, thus ensuring long-term impact.  Very often, local businesses and individuals supported us with funding. 

Now, in 2019 we will locate the travelling exhibit in Plovdiv – and will give the chance to many children from the whole region, even from the smallest villages, to experience the wonders of science without the need to travel far. And you can help this happen!

 

Thanks for Giving!

Kids from Vratsa learning about the bats
Kids from Vratsa learning about the bats
Kids from Vidin trying Alexander Bell`s phone
Kids from Vidin trying Alexander Bell`s phone
Kids from Vratsa study the geology of the Earth
Kids from Vratsa study the geology of the Earth
Green light, you can cross now!
Green light, you can cross now!
It`s so interesting, how caves form!
It`s so interesting, how caves form!
 

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Organization Information

Muzeiko Foundation

Location: Sofia - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Albena Koleva
Sofia, Bulgaria
$14,238 raised of $30,000 goal
 
155 donations
$15,762 to go
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