The Generation 3.0 Award Winners Are in
The prizes went to educational approaches that are already changing our education system
Winners in 5 different categories of the 2nd annual Generation 3.0 Award have now been announced. The winning projects promote critical thinking, inclusive attitudes towards classmates and others, and making connections between various school subjects. One project helps students become leading researchers, while another shows them how to create job opportunities instead of passively waiting for them.
For the second time now, the Pontis Foundation has awarded schools and non-profit organizations that implement modern educational methods.
“There are a lot of initiatives in Slovakia that are already ushering in change to our schools. However, many of them remain unknown and often they aren’t even aware of each other’s existence. That is why we have decided to find them, provide them with social recognition, measure their impact, and expand the most effective ones to other schools,” explains Lenka Surotchak, Executive Director of the Pontis Foundation.
The Generation 3.0 Award was presented on 3 May, when 14 finalists in five categories presented their projects. An expert jury then chose a winner in each category. “We view the projects as part of the same complex. After all, we all have the same goal in mind – we want our children to be enthusiastic about school,” adds Lenka Surotchak.
Winning comes with a financial prize of 15,000 € and a non-financial prize in the form of pro bono help from corporate partners worth 20,000 €. The winners also have the opportunity to further develop their project in cooperation with pro bono experts, measure its impact, and expand it to other schools. “Our goal is to help bring these educational approaches to a viable state, enabling their authors to expand to as many schools as possible,” explains Lenka Surotchak.
Winners of Generation 3.0 Award 2018
Category: Career and entrepreneurial skills
Project name: Rozbehni sa! Academy
Submitter: Rozbehni sa! (Uni 2010)
The goal of Rozbehni sa! is to prepare young people for a future world with a lack of jobs, which means that they will have to create jobs of their own. The organization has created a crash course in entrepreneurship called Rozbehni sa! Academy. It consists of four video tutorials on how to start a business, which are followed by a final test and a certificate of completion. The project has also trained a network of ambassadors at high schools, who will present Rozbehni sa! Academy to students. Students interested in starting their own business will be directed to the R! Academy website, where the rest of the videos are available for everyone who registers. Those who want to continue will get a free “R! cheat sheet” and gain full access to the online course. The committee appreciated the project’s regional availability and its ease of dissemination.
Category: Personality ready for change
Project name: Reflecting on Freedom and Responsibility
Submitter: Dubová Elementary School, Bratislava
The project focuses on inclusive education for all elementary school students from various environments, with families in different life situations. It includes art philetics (a therapist-led process of artistic development for children), creative activities for groups, intergenerational experiential workshops, regular group reflection sessions, therapeutic sessions, etc. All of these activities lead children to think and talk about their feelings, opinions, and needs, which helps them take responsibility for their freedom. The activities help students gain new skills and change the atmosphere in individual classes as well as the school as a whole. The committee appreciated that this is an innovative, evidence-based educational approach to promoting student inclusion that has the potential to become a best practice.
Category: STEM Knowledge
Project name: Expanding the Young Physicists’ Tournament and the Young Scientists’ Olympiad
Submitter: Young Physicists’ Tournament
Young Physicists’ Tournament is an activity for teams of high-schoolers which simulates actual scientific research in all of its aspects. Throughout the school year, students focus on solving the problems they have been assigned – they study literature, consult with teachers and scientists, experiment, and develop theories. At the end of the tournament, they participate in an international competition. Students present their results in front of competing teams, who act as their opponents and reviewers. Their output is then evaluated by an expert jury, and the students are given the opportunity to discuss their work and its evaluation on the spot. The Young Scientists’ Olympiad serves to prevent the aversion that students often feel towards natural sciences. It is meant for young scientists and students up to 15 years of age and also gives them the opportunity to represent their country at an international level. The committee appreciated that the project has the potential to popularize science and support young talents who can bring scientific breakthroughs in the future.
Category: Social and civic competences
Project name: Expanding the High-School Debate Program
Submitter: Slovak Debate Association
SDA’s overall goal is to promote critical thinking, openness, and engaged citizenship among young people. The association fulfills this goal by organizing debate activities – structured discussions where the quality of arguments is key. SDA’s oldest and most developed activity is the high-school debate program. It consists of regular debate club meetings, methodical support, and debate tournaments. The program encourages young people to actively participate – they are expected to take on responsibility and they also learn how to judge debates and lead their clubs. This is what makes SDA different from other debate programs abroad. The committee appreciated that this educational approach is very relevant (considering the current social climate) and promotes student engagement.
Category: Innovations in the education system
Project name: Better Geography
Submitter: Civic association “Lepšia geografia”
Better Geography is a didactic portal which offers teachers instruction materials, lesson plan suggestions, unusual instruction methods, and activities. Its main goal is to turn traditional geography into a subject that develops a wide range of (not only geographic) skills. In addition to providing materials with teaching methods and specific activities, the project also aims to gradually change people’s perception of geographical education in Slovakia. It can be used at elementary schools, high schools as well as university faculties that train future geography teachers. The committee appreciated the project’s potential to reach large groups of students, allowing them to develop their critical thinking skills, and the fact that it creates links between knowledge from various subjects.
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