Today, on 10 August 2020, Ms Dita Traidās, Director of the State Education Development Agency (VIAA), and Mr Jānis Rozenbergs, Chairman of Cēsis County Council, electronically signed an agreement on Norwegian grant project for pupils, teachers, pre-school children with parents, as well as society as a whole, to create an interactive and attractive environment for exploring STEM sciences.
Over the next three years, the premises and interest education programs of the Cēsis Space exploration centre will be formed on space topics in five sub-themes – society, cosmology, technology, health and living in space. Interest education sessions and interactive exhibits will look for answers to questions such as why people want to fly in space, what are the biggest secrets of space, how to fly in space, how to prepare for the flight in space, what person needs to live outside the planet Earth, etc. “The establishment of the Space exploration centre in Cēsis is a significant addition to the traditions nurtured by the existing innovation centre ZINOO not only in Cēsis but also for the modernization of such natural science interests and knowledge centres in Latvia. With its experience, Cēsis has served as a stimulus for the contribution of the European Economic Area and Norwegian funding program “Research and Education” to the development of such centres in Latvia. The grant aims to stimulate children’s and young people’s curiosity in various sciences, its contribution to the creation of modern content and technological provision in the new centre will help create an exciting and creative research environment not only for children and young people but also for fruitful cooperation between educational and scientific institutions,” emphasizes VIAA director Dita Traidās.
In the project, Cēsis municipality plans to create workshops, co-creation rooms, laboratories and other interactive expositions, as well as create 50 interactive exhibitions, three educational programs and five exciting classes in natural sciences (computer science and information science, physics, chemistry, biology, earth and environmental sciences) and engineering and technology sciences (civil engineering, electrical engineering, electronics, information technology, environmental biotechnology, mechanical engineering and mechanics). Also, training seminars are provided for teachers to strengthen their competence in teaching STEM subjects.
“For Cesis, the Space exploration centre is a logical continuation of the existing ZINOO centre. Significant experience in the management and development of such centres has been accumulated for almost 10 years. Pupils from all over Latvia will be able to visit Cēsis to be inspired by the challenges of the future, to learn a complex subject interestingly and engagingly,” says Jānis Rozenbergs, Chairman of Cēsis County Council.
The project “Establishment of an Innovation Center in Cēsis” is financed by the EEA/N Grant program “Research and Education”. Its total costs are EUR 2,146,856.00, of which EUR 1,642,346.20 is co-financing from the Norwegian financial instrument, EUR 289,825.80 is co-financing from the Latvian state budget, and EUR 214,684.00 is co-financing from Cēsis municipality. The project will be implemented by Cēsis municipality in close cooperation between the partners involved in the project – NAROM (Norwegian Space Education Center) and Riga Technical University, as well as other science and innovation centres in Latvia. The Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia as the program manager is responsible for the development of the program concept, more effective implementation of financial instruments and more targeted support in priority areas, but VIAA as the program implementer is responsible for project evaluation, implementation monitoring and control.
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