ITMO’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering Launches a Projects Contest

Project activities allow students to more creatively approach problem-solving and trains them for work in business environments and promotion of their own, and practically useful, products. To enhance the applications of project-oriented approach in education, ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering launched a contest for filling of the positions of developers and mentors of educational projects in the subject area of physics. The winners will receive financial support and the opportunity to bring their ideas into reality both at ITMO and the Sirius educational center in Sochi.

Credit: Sirius educational center

The goal of the new contest is to develop project-based learning at ITMO’s physics majors, as well as search for mentors to work at the university and the educational center “Sirius”, which is located in the southern Russian city of Sochi. It is there that the authors of the most interesting works submitted will be implementing their ideas. Among the organizers of the contest are ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering and Strategic Communications Department.

“On the paper, what we’re looking for are, first, ideas for project activities and, second, creative people,” says the vice dean of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering Mikhail Mukhin. “They can be scientists, research associates, lecturers or even students. Going forward, we’ll join forces in developing their projects on the basis of our faculty and also help them implement their ideas at Sirius.”

Mikhail Mukhin clarifies that the organizers looking for projects in the field of physics, and those allowing for participation of school and university students as part of a semester-long task. For example, one of the similar projects to be presented by the faculty at Sirius is dedicated to the creation of a focusing antenna lens with the use of metamaterials. ITMO University’s Faculty of Physics and Engineering is a long-standing partner of the Sirius educational center, contributing to the organization of project sessions in the subject area of physics.

Participants of the project on the creation of a focusing antenna lens with their ITMO mentor Mikhail Zhukov at the Sirius educational center
Participants of the project on the creation of a focusing antenna lens with their ITMO mentor Mikhail Zhukov at the Sirius educational center

University researchers and lecturers, undergraduate and postgraduate students, teachers at specialized schools from St. Petersburg and other Russian regions, as well as school children and their mentors are invited to participate in the contest. All they have to do is to write a summary of their projects and send these to the organizers at konkurs_ftf@corp.ifmo.ru, indicating “Contest” in the email’s subject field. Here are the full rules of the contest (in Russian).

The final deadline for submission is May 15, 2019.

Considering the applications will be a panel of judges made of researchers, methodologists and lecturers from ITMO University. They will be tasked with independent evaluation and objective selection of projects for their further implementation as part of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering’s educational programs and physics-based project initiatives at the Sirius educational center.

After the initial evaluation by the judges, the organizers will invite the authors of the best projects to St. Petersburg to discuss and defend their projects in person. Successful candidates will be awarded financial support to further develop, test and implement their initiatives at the faculty or the Sirius educational center. Each of the winning projects will draw from the 50,000 rubles prize fund. A travel grant, housing and free meals will be provided as additional support to the candidates relocating to Sirius’s Sochi headquarters to develop their projects.

Mikhail Mukhin (left) and the team of ITMO University's Faculty of Physics and Engineering at the Sirius educational center
Mikhail Mukhin (left) and the team of ITMO University's Faculty of Physics and Engineering at the Sirius educational center

“We can indeed see that project activities are very effective in terms of motivation and education of students. Unlike the routine and often templated lab work, projects imply a specific problem and various ways for it to be solved. In essence, what we give to the students is an opportunity to learn in an exciting and informative way,” explains the vice dean of the Faculty of Physics and Engineering Mikhail Mukhin. “We’re interested in creating a community of professionals pursuing project activities, and hope that this work will allow us to create at ITMO an innovative platform where the most interesting ideas are tested and developed.”

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