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Research and Education

Daugavpils Innovation Center – home of STEM in Latgale

Once upon a time, in the building of Vienības iela 30 in Daugavpils, people enjoyed the “Austra” cinema. Currently, the innovation center is located at this address. The architect of the building, Olģerts Krauklis, once developed an innovative building material – acoustic ceramic building blocks – especially for the project of this building. You could say that innovation has always lived in this building, but now it is coming back even in richer sense.

Historical photo of “Oktobris” cinema www.wikimedia.com

In 2019, Daugavpils city council members supported the transfer of the youth curiosity center “ZINOO Daugavpils” to the “Jaunība” children and youth center, creating the Daugavpils Innovation Center on its basis. In 2020, the project “Development of Innovation centre in Daugavpils City” of the “Innovation Centers” activity of the European Economic Area and the Norway grants programme “Research and Education” received funding to develop STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and subjects in Latgale as well.

Cooperation strengthening activities online together with Trondheim Science Center and Daugavpils University

Daugavpils Innovation Center is planned as a new learning environment for everyone, where you can experiment a lot, research, create innovative solutions, develop entrepreneurial abilities, connect learning content with real life and the digital environment, using co-creation spaces and laboratories, educational exhibits and installations. The center plans to open its doors to visitors in late autumn of 2022.

The priorities of Daugavpils Innovation Center is the promotion of student self-development, the accumulation of personal knowledge, experience of creative activities and reaching the ceiling of competences in the specific field according to abilities and opportunities interact, creating a deeper understanding of STEAM fields at different levels of education. Daugavpils Innovation Center will introduce science through activities that will promote integrated knowledge of the world and oneself and stimulate interest in exact sciences and their correlation with everyday life.

Currently, a new concept, brand and logo of the Daugavpils Innovation Center has been created. Also, the project continues to modernize expositions, co-creation spaces, develop educational programs and interactive thematic lessons, as well as organize other events for educators and students.cooperate Daugavpils Innovation Center team, Daugavpils city municipality, as well as Daugavpils University and Trondheim Science Center in Norway.

Both STEM and STEAM are needed in life

Daugavpils Innovation Centre is an educational institution based on a competence approach, which promotes knowledge development and skills acquisition of STEM and STEAM (including art) fields, as well as career choices in these fields. Exciting learning will be achieved not only through interactive expositions, but also through classes and events that allow you to see and understand physics, chemistry, biology and other sciences as a whole in a simple way.

“By understanding the world better, a person can achieve more and live more meaningfully and happily. The activities of the Innovation Center contribute to an integrated knowledge of the world and oneself and stimulate interest in exact sciences and their correlation with everyday life,” says Jolanta ŪIzuliņa, coordinator of international projects of the Investments and International Relations Department of the Development Department of Daugavpils City Council.

The exposition of the Daugavpils Innovation Center is divided into four thematic areas:

Interest education programmes for educators and young people

In cooperation with Daugavpils University, three training cycles have already been implemented – a broad informal further education programme for STEM field and business specialists. There have been online trainings on the Zoom platform, as well as experimental and practical lessons in person – in university laboratories. Adapting to the epidemiological regulations, the training became a hybrid programme. Training enriches teachers’ knowledge, skills and competences in the field of STEM and entrepreneurship education, promotes innovative knowledge acquisition and offers new learning tools. 

J. Ūzuliņa explains: “Teachers acquire new, research-based knowledge, renew motivation and the ability to inspire and support young people to focus on natural sciences and technology studies.”

Daugavpils Innovation Center this year implemented nine creative educational programs in STEM fields, as well as the “Business Ideas School” program, during which students got an idea of ​​the steps and principles of business development. In the “Start Up” program, young people had the opportunity to develop their creative, idea development and problem solving skills. 

Exhibits are developed by a team of creative professionals

Exhibit content is developed by project experts with the exhibit development team, inspired both by the experience and knowledge of Norwegian partners, and by inventing the exhibits themselves.

The center’s exhibits are designed in an austere style, but in attractive colors to create an equally attractive environment for discovering the magic of science for both children and adults. A team is working on the creation of the exposition: SIA “SOLAVI”, SIA “DJA”, SIA “OVERLY”, SIA “AD PRODUCTION”, which consists of bright, creative minds and golden hands. Together, these companies have created EXPO 2020 Latvia exposition.

SOLAVI is a smart technology company with a unique experience of 20 years. They have equipped museums, concert halls, conference centers, banks, educational and scientific institutions, libraries, theaters, cinema and entertainment centers, sports halls, state and municipal institutions, as well as private companies and individuals. 

DJA’s main activities are the development of architecture, urban planning and design projects. The works are characterized by an innovative and conceptual architecture based on the context of the site and the functional characteristics of the project. 

OVERLY is the first and only company in the Baltic States that specializes in the creation of augmented and virtual reality solutions and the development of these technologies. They can be called a full-service agency that provides not only project implementation, but also a creative approach to any client’s idea in order to turn it into the most effective final product.

AD PRODUCTION – “Yes, We Can!” is a production facility for non-standard and standard advertising projects. For them, advertising means the belief that a wide variety of solutions are suitable for providing information: environmental objects, light boxes, TV studio equipment, exhibition and large-format stands, stage construction, event design, even interior design and furnishing.

Building renovation works

The Municipal Development Department is implementing a building insulation and renovation project, not only energy efficiency improvement works are being carried out, but also indoor re-planning – adaptation of the small cinema hall to accommodate a new digital exhibition, re-planning of premises for the needs of the Daugavpils Innovation Center. Within the framework of the project, the territory of the building and its surroundings will be improved.

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