19 December 2022

From Research to Practice: Nakhodka’s Students Search for “Formula for Success” for the Third Time

Over 160 students and their teachers are participating in the school research project contest “Formula for Success”, which is taking place in Nakhodka for the third time. In this “season” the distinctive feature of the projects is their practicality. The students are assisted by mentors and experts: employees of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Far Eastern Federal University, and Nakhodka Mineral Fertilizer Plant.

In line with the tradition, the contest is organized by the Nakhodka Mineral Fertilizer Plant, and the initiative of the company is supported by the Education Department of Nakhodka and the Information and Methodological Center “Razvitie”.

The key objective of the social policy of NFP is to create conditions in Nakhodka where young people will choose to live and work in the city. Improving the quality of education and supporting student initiatives are important elements of the company’s strategy. NFP believes that young people can change their hometown for the better. And by seeing their real impact, they will understand that they are needed here.

There is already an example of such real impact – the Comprehensive Plan for Socio-Economic Development of Nakhodka took into account the ideas of students voiced at the “Formula for Success” in previous years. Today, the plan is already being implemented.

“It can confidently be said that ‘Formula for Success’ is a popular project in the city. Under the guidance of their teachers, students explore relevant and problematic urban topics and create projects aimed at correcting or improving the situation. They gain new experience in project management and witness how their efforts contribute to the transformation of the city”, – said Victor Grebenyukov, the executive director of NFP.

The majority of the projects focus on ecology or improving public spaces. For example, one of the ideas is to create the map of littered areas. With its help, the local administration will be able to more effectively curb the accumulation of litter.

Additionally, the students will soon be conducting research on the beaches of Nakhodka, checking the quality of tap water, and, if necessary, proposing methods for its purification. They will also conduct research on the benefits of gasification.

Both the administration of Nakhodka and the organizer, NFP, are interested in having more practical projects among the contest entries. Developing intellectual potential and engineering thinking is our common goal because today’s students are the future young professionals. We will do everything we can to assist the students in organizing consultations with the relevant faculties of the Far Eastern Federal University and specialists, and later we will help promote their ideas at the regional and national levels, ” said Evgenia Mukhamadieva, the head of the education department of the Nakhodka Urban District Administration.

The first meeting with the contest experts was introductory and laid the foundation for further work. Students participated in three research workshops, each of which reflected one or several aspects of scientific research.

Alexander Petrunko, candidate of sciences, the head of the department of analytical and project work at the Primorsky Krai Institute for Education Development, provided insights into different types of research and projects, as well as their important components. Psychologists conducted team-building training sessions for the students. In addition, high school students independently conducted chemical experiments. Many students have participated in the contest before, but each time they discover something new.

“This is my second year participating, but it doesn’t mean that I know everything. Today we had an introductory workshop, and the program is completely different from what we had last year. It’s very interesting and engaging. Our team hasn’t decided on a topic yet; we’re still in the process,” shared Anastasia Romashova, a 10th-grade student from School 20.

However, there are students who already know exactly what they will be researching. One of such students is Matvey Kalashnikov, a ninth-grade student from “Leader-2” school.

“Kefir is a fermented milk drink very popular in Russia. Our team will be looking for the best  and the most wholesome kefir we can find. We will take several samples and calculate the amount of bifidobacteria in each sample. I think we will need the help of microbiologists. I plan to pursue a medical degree, so this topic is very interesting to me,” shared the student.

It is worth noting that “Formula for Success” will identify the best projects in two age categories (grades 5-8 and 9-11) and in two nominations – “Chemistry and Ecology” and “Chemistry and Economics”. The students can look forward to field trips, work in laboratories, and real research under the guidance of renowned scientists. The contest was presented at the Environmental Forum in the Government of Primorsky Krai this spring. It serves as an exemplary practical event demonstrated the organization of environmental education and the promotion of eco-consciousness among students in the region.