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Technasium Project

In 2012, Alvan Tsarik has started the Technasium project in Armenia. It is a new initiative aimed at older pupils and students.

Since ten years people in the Netherlands have been working on a new education form: the Technasium. In this form of education, pupils interested in technology and design interested work on realistic projects. These projects are provided by clients outside the school. The pupils go through a process which includes preparatory research, planning, working in groups and several presentations, evaluations and judgements. By using this type of approach the pupils learn their own strong and weak points. In this way the students can rapidly improve their skills.

As far as we know, this form of education doesn’t exist in Armenia. We have a couple of reasons to think that it is extremely important for Armenia to introduce such a form of education.

We as Dutchmen notice a strong hierarchic way of thinking in the Armenian society. In families as well as at schools, people are not automatically stimulated to take part in taking decisions or making a planning. In our pre-school project in Armenia, we try to show that even little children are capable of taking responsibility process provided they are well-supervised. Beside that, learning to work in groups is very important for people in Armenia. An Armenian joke tells us: “For an Armenian group one person is too few and two people are too many.” Therefore we think a structuralized approach in accordance with the Dutch Technasium model can be beneficial to Armenian education.

This year, in collaboration with the Polytechnical University in Gyumri, we will start a pilot project.
In seven different groups, approximately thirty students are going to work on an assignment.
We are still looking for a client.
This will probably be the city of Gyumri.
Gyumri will be a good choice, because of they are the major economic power in the region.
We think, inventing a solution for the problem with refuse in and around Gyumri is a suggestion for a project.

The Polytechnical University in Gyumri

When all discussions would have progressed smoothly, the start of the project would have been be in the middle of November. This would be done by an official meeting, in which the client would have mentioned all the preconditions. Until this formal start, by means of existing Dutch documents, we will try to make the groups and their guides familiar with the ideas behind the Technasium by putting together support teams in Gyumri and a helpdesk through Skype with a Dutch colleague.

Until the end of February, the groups will work on their assignment. In the meantime interim-presentations and evaluations will be held according to a strict timetable.

At the end, there will be an official meeting in which the final results are presented. At this final presentation , a jury will award prizes for the three best results. The jury will have to include a representative of the client and a representative of the foundation Alvan Tsarik.