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Suitcase science

The Suitcase Science has opened first Student Science Centre in Czech Republic, with support of the Czech Space Office

The nonprofit organization Suitcase Science/Věda z kufru opened on 22 April 2014 its new Student Science Center in Prague as the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. The Center's activities are based on eduction of students in natural sciences by student teachers of the same age. The Czech Space Office supports the activities of Suitcase Science from the very beginning of its existence.

The Suitcase Science was founded two years ago by a group of young people from the project Mars Expedition, and since then it is involved in science education using so called non-formal methods. The orientation of Suitcase Science is unique and during its relatively short time of existence it managed to established the cooperation with a number of Czech and foreign organizations. Students teach the science in an entertaning way and during their teaching blocks they develop skills of communication and cooperation.

"We founded the Suitcase Science two years ago in three people by the time we all yet studied high school. We ourselves had a problem with the school hadn't been offering sufficient opportunities to develop, so we felt the need to change it. In two years, we have gone a long way, during which our educational programs have passed hundreds of children. Also, our team has been exptended - our teachers are students of secondary schools and universities, often Mars Expedition project participants and the winners of international scientific competitions," says Michal Vyvlečka, one of the founders.

"I have known the Suitcase Science protagonists now for several years thanks to our collaboration on the project Mars Expedition, which I had the opportunity to co-organize together with Vladimír Remek. I know that this is a group of enthusiastic people with necessary expertise who managed to build a stable position in educational community and schools across the country. I appreciate their interest in science, extraordinary efforts and their ideas for getting the science to the young generation. It is an activity that deserves support, as it helps steer young people to perspective areas of studies, and therefore I consider the organization Suitcase Science extremely valuable," says Petr Voldán, the journalist and assistant of the only Czech astronaut.

The new Student Science Center was opened in Prague's district of Žižkov. Various workshops offer to young people different kinds of experiences, for example, water analysis, thermal imaging or astronomical observations. Also, they can come to listen to interesting lectures given by Czech experts, or to try stand up in front of the audience in a cycle of student lectures.

"In Prague there is still no science center, as it is common in the most of the larger Czech cities. We hope that by opening of our Center we have made the important step to popularize the science in Prague. The new Center is to us a huge move forward, thanks to which we can expand the number of our teachers, start teh volunteer program and increase our range of educational activities," says Michal Vyvlečka.

Během dvou let se Věda z kufru z pouhého studentského nápadu stala uznávanou organizací pracující s mládeží v oblasti vzdělávání. Možná to budou právě tito studenti, kteří budou za několik let stát u vzniku prvního pražského Science centra. Díky podpoře organizací, jako je například Česká kosmická kancelář, by se jim to mohlo podařit.

Within two years, the Suitcase Science has become from simple an accepted student organization working in the field of education. Maybe it will be their students who will become in a few years founders of the first Prague Science Centre. With the support of organizations such as the Czech Space Office, they should succeed.